March 18 – 29
At Tower City
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Country: CZECH REPUBLIC
Run Time: 94 minutes
From the late Václav Havel comes LEAVING, the first and last film endeavor of the eccentric and revolutionary president of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic from 1989 to 2003. A celebrated poet, playwright, and politician, Havel turned his first play in over 20 years into this tragicomedic feature film. Though Havel claimed the story not to be autobiographical, it follows the womanizing yet good leader of an unspecified country who steps down after years in power. A bittersweet comedy, LEAVING takes place on the veranda of Vilém Riegerova's mansion—the government-owned home he must leave as his political reign comes to an end. With his long-term companion Irena loyally by his side, Vilém entertains guest, after guest, after tabloid reporter and gloating competitor. With a slew of ludicrous characters and a script chockfull of playful nonsense, Havel's film is a delicate balance between parody and a deep look at the pressures of a former president's personal life. (In Czech with subtitles) – M.M.
Nicolas Duval-Adassovsky, Laurent Zeitoun, Yann Zenou
Olivier Nakache, Éric Toledano
François Cluzet, Omar Sy
Born in Prague, Václav Havel studied at Czech Technical University in Prague before becoming the ninth and last president of Czechoslovakia and first president of the Czech Republic. Known as a dissident and unique leader, he was also an acclaimed playwright, writing over 20 plays and numerous works of non-fiction throughout his life. Sadly, Havel recently passed away on December 18, 2011 at his country home in Hrádeček.