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6 Nov 2019 19:00

The Other Europe: The Power of the Powerless with Jacques Rupnik, Tom Roberts and Richard Davy

30 years after the fall of Communism, leading historian and political scientist Jacques Rupnik and a multi-award winning documentary film director Tom Roberts re-visit their Channel 4 revolutionary documentary series which revealed the impact of 40 years of Communist rule on the nations of the ‘Other Europe’. Written and narrated by Jacques Rupnik, this programme examines power, ideology, resistance, art and the traumas of the totalitarian experiment using interviews with leading oppositionists and extracts of their work. Reminiscing what was it like for a Western crew to film in Communist countries on the brink of collapse, meeting filmmakers Andrzej Wajda, Jiří Menzel, writers Václav Havel, Josef Škvorecký, and young Viktor Orban, the panelists will discuss the notion of the Other Europe now after the changes of 1989 and in the current political climate.


Tom Roberts, UK - Channel 4, 1988, 60’  

“What was socialist realism for? The reason for it was that the arts were part of a larger whole, the aim of which was to create the Socialist Man, a New man who was supposed to differ totally from the type of man preceding him.” Andrzej Wajda

“These countries between Germany and Soviet Russia are known as the Eastern bloc. But historically, culturally, they are the heart of Europe. They are part of our Western culture. They are us.” Jacques Rupnik

Jacques Rupnik is a Prague-born French historian and a political scientist focusing on the history and politics of Eastern and Central Europe. He was educated, among others, at the University of Paris and at Harvard, is currently Research Professor at CERI-Sciences Po in Paris as well as visiting professor at the College of Europe in Bruges. He was advisor to president Vaclav Havel in the 1990’s, Executive director of the International Commission for the Balkans, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (1995-1996) and drafter of its report Unfinished Peace (1996), member of the Independent International Commission on Kosovo (1999-2000) and co-drafter of The Kosovo Report (Oxford UP, 2000). Among his more recent positions held, he was advisor to the European Commission (2007-2010), member of the board of the Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation in The Hague (2010-2017) and member of the board of directors of the European Partnership for Democracy in Brussels (2008-2013).

Tom Roberts is a multi-award winning documentary film director, producer and executive producer, known especially for his documentaries Every Last Child, Ghosts of the 7th Cavalry and Frontline. Roberts makes films on subjects as diverse as Stalin’s purges, the Arab/Israeli conflict, a controversial series about runaway children in the UK, 9/11, the deadly bombing of Azizzabad, Iraqi opposition and others. In 2013 he completed a drama-documentary, Mandela: The Prison Years. Tom’s first dramatic feature film, In Tranzit, starred John Malkovich, Thomas Kretschmann, Daniel Brühl and Vera Farmiga. Roberts began his directing career at the BBC in the 1980’s. Soon after, Roberts founded his own production company, October Films, which rapidly built a reputation for producing distinctive feature-length documentary films. The company has won well over a hundred international awards.

Richard Davy graduated in Modern History from Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1953. After teaching in Italy and training in Edinburgh he served for nearly thirty years on The Times (London). He was a foreign correspondent in Germany, Washington and Eastern Europe, and an editorial writer and specialist in East-West relations. He covered much of the Prague Spring of 1968 and the long negotiations that produced the Helsinki Final Act of 1975. Later he was Managing Editor of the Oxford Analytic Daily Brief (an online consultancy) and after that a contributing editorial writer for The Independent. He was also a Specialist Adviser to a House of Commons Committee examining the Helsinki Final Act, a guest scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington DC, a Senior Adviser on a project on Eastern Europe for the Georgetown Center for Strategic and International Studies, and an Associate Fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, and a Senior Member of St Antony’s College Oxford.

Admission: £7

26 Kensington Palace Gardens
London W8 4QY

Part of Czech Velvet 1989 – 2019 Festival
Festival of Arts, Film, Theatre & Music
1-29 November 2019

Photo: ATI Photography Collection, © Viktor Kronbauer







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


6 Nov 2019 19:00


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