23rd Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival
The Scientific-Technical Revolution and the Future of Socialism in Educational Films of the Sixties
Civilization at the Crossroads: The Scientific-Technical Revolution and the Future of Socialism in Educational Films of the Sixties
The screening is a precursor to the exhibition The Self-Awareness of Science: The Scientific-Technical Revolution and the Limits of Emancipation, which will open in December 2018 at Prague’s Display and FUTURA galleries. The exhibition will look at the activities in the 1960s of an interdisciplinary research team led by philosopher Radovan Richta that was expected to present a vision for “the new Czechoslovak model of socialism.” The advent of cybernetics and automatization was expected to help create a more humane socialist society in which people would be liberated from manual labor and from preexisting ideological authorities and predefined roles. The exhibition, which is being prepared by a team of historians, curators, and artists, tries to find the fine line between the liberating potential of science and technology and their use for maintaining and cementing technocratic power or authoritarian regimes. Its aim is to reconstruct the interdisciplinary dialogue of the 1960s, which has recently taken on new meaning, in particular in relation to the subjects of automatization, a society without work, or climate change.
The screening is part of the project “Shape the Future! The Concept of the Science-Technical Revolution,” organized as part of the program “Strategies AV21: Europe and the State: Between Barbarism and Civilization” (Czech Academy of Sciences, 2018)
Machines and People
Czechoslovakia 1960, 14 minutes
idea, written and directed by: Rudolf Obdržálek; camera: Jan Matoušek; editing:
Milada Sádková; expert consultant: František Kuta
One of Rudolf Obdržálek’s popular science films on the subject of automation introduces us to the work of machines and shows that automatization is not just a technical matter, but that it has political, social, and economic implications as well.
Six Urgent Arguments
part 1, The Lost Eden
part 4, The Need for Play
Czechoslovakia 1967, 32 + 30 minutes
written and directed by: Josef Kořán; camera: Vladimír Lorenc; editing: Marie
Křížková; music: Ilja Hurník; expert consultants: Jan Bolina, Jindřich Filipec
The six-part documentary series showing Radovan Richta and his team as they work on the study “Civilization at the Crossroads” was shot by the Studio of Documentary Film on commission for the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. Richta and his colleagues discuss the role of people in the era of the scientific-technical revolution.