Česká centra, Czech Centres

Česká centra / Czech centres - logo


22 Nov 2018 19:00

The Velvet Revolution + discussion with Pavel Seifter and Jiří Přibáň

A testimony to the heady days following the 17 November 1989, this edited footage of interviews and news journals successfully evokes the atmosphere of the 30 days which paved the way to democracy in Czechoslovakia.

Casting students and former dissidents led by Vaclav Havel in the main roles it chronicles the Velvet Revolution, when riot police crushed a peaceful student rally in Prague and the subsequent protests that ended the Communist era in Czechoslovakia. Edited within ten days at the end of the revolutionary  year, this is cinema vérité at its best and an opportunity to revisit the unfolding of history. 

Petr Slavík, Jiří Střecha, 1990, 69 min, English commentar

Followed by discussion with Pavel Seifter, former Czech Ambassador to the UK, Charter 77 signatory and founding member of the Magic Lantern Civic Forum, and Jiří Přibáň, professor of sociology and philosophy of law, Cardiff University and a 1989 student leader.

Jiří Přibáň
Jiří Přibáň graduated from Charles University in Prague (1989) where he was appointed professor of legal theory, philosophy and sociology in 2002. He was also visiting professor or scholar at European University Institute in Florence, New York University (Prague Office), University of California in Berkeley, University of San Francisco, University of Pretoria, The Flemish Academy in Brussels and University of New South Wales, Sydney. Jiří Přibáň has published extensively in the areas of social theory and sociology of law, legal philosophy, constitutional and European comparative law, and theory of human rights. He is an editor of the Journal of Law and Society and a regular contributor to the Czech and international media.

Pavel Seifter
Pavel Seifter
was Czech Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2003. He started his career as a lecturer in history at Charles University, Prague. After the Soviet invasion in 1968 he worked as a window cleaner until 1989, signed the Charter 77, was involved in samizdat activities and in November 1989 took part in  the creation of the Civic Forum from inside the Magic Lantern. He returned to academia as co-founder of the Institute of Contemporary History in Prague and later became deputy director of the Institute of International Relations. Between 1993 and 1997 he was head of President Vaclav Havel’s foreign policy department. Pavel Seifter followed his diplomatic career as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Global Governance, LSE, and retired in 2016.

Tickets: £7 + booking fee

Part of czech100, a festival of exciting cinema, theatre, visual arts, design and music celebrating the Czech Republic’s centenary (28 October - 9 December 2018).


Part of:





Czech Embassy Cinema, 26 Kensington Palace Gardens, London W8 4QY


22 Nov 2018 19:00


Czech Centre

Remind me
This event has already started.