26th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Egon Bondy's Automatic Debate

Egon Bondy's Automatic Debate

original title: Automatická debata Egona Bondyho
country: Czech Republic
running time: 90 min.

synopsis

Egon Bondy (Zbyněk Fišer) was a poet, philosopher, Marxist, and important figure in 20th-century history. This well-known Prague prominent, who in his heyday famously lived on Nerudova Street, is noted for having led a double life: serving as an informant and frequent collaborator for the state police while also maintaining his position as an influential personality in the Czechoslovak underground. His legacy still carries with it a number of ambiguities, controversies, and prejudices. Some still demand he be condemned for his “ratting on the righteous.” Others stress the importance of his philosophical work, despite his seditious existence. The image of Egon Bondy in this documentary gives a playful nod to this ambivalent interpretation. Creators are frequently attracted to his powerful personality and still work to understand his complex worldview.

Some filmmakers opt for proven documentary methods to portray him and interview his surviving family members, others use experimental techniques to evoke the spirit of his way of thought juxtaposed in the "revolting" scenery of today. This composed evening will present clips from several spectacular films.

In the following debate, guests will try to grasp and zoom in on the ambiguity of Bondy's persona. The debate is hosted by Czech film producer and documentary filmmaker Jakub Wagner.

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