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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Elective Affinities

Elective Affinities

director: Karel Vachek
original title: Spřízněni volbou
country: Czech Republic
year: 1968
running time: 85 min.


On 22 March 1968 President Antonín Novotný gave in to the pressure of the reformist communists headed by Alexander Dubček and resigned. It is necessary to elect a new head of state who has set out on the path of „socialism with a human face“. Karel Vachek with his crew encroaches behind the scenes of the then political goings-on, films fiery speeches, stormy meetings, tactical deliberations and run-of-the-mill tittle tattle of our leaders. His film is an enormously candid artistic reportage in the style of „cinema direct“, as well as a gentle parody of the investigative, politically committed film documentary. Able to stand back he follows characters big and small reminding us more of a comedy whose humour and irony though remains full of hope.


Karel Vachek (1940) creates multi-layered philosophical and social essays. In 2004, he published the book The Theory of Matter. Films: Moravian Hellas, 1963, Elective Affinities, 1968, New Hyperion or Liberty, Equality, Brotherhood, 1992, What Is to Be Done? (A Journey from Prague to Český Krumlov, or How I Formed a New Government, 1996, Bohemia Docta or The Labyrinth of the World and the Lust-house of the Heart A Divine Comedy, 2000, Who Will Watch the Watchman? Dalibor, or the Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin, 2002Obscurantist and His Lineage or The Pyramids’ Tearful Valleys, 2011.

more about film

director: Karel Vachek
script: Karel Vachek
editing: Jiřina Skalská
sound: Zbyněk Mader
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Creative Europe
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas