{{ mainName }}

{{ newsTitle }} {{ newsVisible ? '✦' : '✧'}}

Occupation 1968

DirectorStephan Komandarev, Marie Elisa Scheidt, Linda Dombrovszky, Magdalena Szymkow, Evdokia Moskvina
ProducerPeter Kerekes Ltd. (SK); Filip Remunda, Vit Klusak – Hypermarket Film (CZ), Agnes Horvath-Szabo – ELF Pictures (HU), Martichka Bozhilova – Agitprop (BG), Stanislav Zaborowski – Silver Frame (PL)
EditorMatej Benes, Denize Galiao, Nina Alataparmakova, Levente Papp, Izabela Pajak
CameraMoritz Tessendorf, Jakub Halousek, Vesselin Hristov, Akos Nyoszoli, Zuzanna Kernbach
SoundMichal Gabor, Tamas Beke, Lajos Ersek H.A.E.S., Marcin Lenarczyk, Clemens Becker, Lorenz Kainz, Aleksandar Simeonov, Richard Muller, Jan Cenek
Length130 min (5 x 26)
CountrySlovakia/Czech Republic/Hungary/Bulgaria/Poland
ScreeningSat 10 November | 13:00 hours | Filmhuis Den Haag
Sun 11 November | 15:45 hours | Filmhuis Den Haag

5 directors from 5 countries, countries that occupied Czechoslovakia in 1968. The documentary travels back to the place of invasion focusing on the stories of soldiers who took part in the occupation. The screening on Sunday 11 November will be followed by Q&A with the director Magdalena Szymkow.


This omnibus documentary gives a new perspective to the occupation of Czechoslovakia seen from the eyes of the occupiers. Former soldiers and their friends reflect on circumstances surrounding their participation on the side of occupier’s armies coming from the Warsaw Pact countries. Some wonder whether what they believed to be true was actually a real truth? Was the West about to attack? Was their mission noble, as some of them believed? Were they saviours or occupiers of Czech and Slovaks? They wonder whether they would obey the orders if they were in the situation to shoot at the civilians. Despite some still being proud of their involvement, they all cast a new perspective at their personal past and historic truths.

Festivals & Awards (selection)

GoEast, Festival Of Central And Eastern European Film, Wiesbaden 2018 | Sofia International Film Festival | Titanic International Film Festival, Budapest | LET’S CEE Film Festival, Vienna | Millennium Docs Against Gravity Film Festival, Poland | International Film Festival Innsbruck | Karlovy Vary International Film Festival – KineDok | Flickers Rhode Island International Film Festival | IDFA, Amsterdam 2017 – IDFA Forum

Production Notes

Documentary project about August 1968 is a collective subjective look on the soldiers of “friendly” armies and their thoughts and impressions about Czechoslovak occupation and their tasks within it. The main question is, how “a small person in Europe” behaves in the front of so known “big history”? Which role plays personal responsibility, preservation of personal point of view or moral, and what happens to it in the moment, when they have to choose between saving their life or obeying the rules? … In order to get the most diverse views on this complicated topic, we decided to choose five directors from five countries of the former Warsaw Pact, which participated in the occupation of Czechoslovakia – Russia, Poland, Germany, Hungary and Bulgaria. The result is five 26-minute long films, mosaic of subjective portraits which form a documentary. The directors are Stephan Komandarev (An Unnecessary Hero, Bulgaria), Marie Elisa Scheidt (Voices in the Forest, Germany), Magdalena Szymkow (Soldiers’ Wives & Spies, Poland), Evdokia Moskvina (The Last Mission of General Ermakov, Russia) a Linda Dombrovszsky (Red Rose – Friendship and Love in the Time of Occupation, Hungary).