Oscar-winning director Jan Svěrák spoke about cinema, the war in Ukraine and his relationship with his famous father in an interview with CNN Prima NEWS. “Ukraine wanted to join Europe or live by European standards. By our standards. These people have the will and now they are fighting for something, and I think they will be ready to fight for this, for something. something that we take for granted and that we don’t appreciate and that we probably couldn’t fight alone. So they’re going to remind us of that,” he told Ukrainian citizens, among others.
The introductory subject was a facade at this year’s Oscars. Actor Will Smith gave it to event moderator Chris Rock for his remarks about Smith’s wife. “I watched her because she came from the Academy, what punishment they have planned, for the striker, so she can’t go to the Oscars for ten years,” Svěrák said. “I think all the time is dislocated and even at the Oscars and the way films are rated, minority preferences and everything is distorted, and so there are such weird awards and overreactions to them. I would let him,” remarked Svěrák, who won the Oscar in 1997 for the film Kolja.
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How does he think the awards ceremony has changed since then? “To tell you honestly, I’ve never seen a handover. I saw a part of us, a bit of ours, but since I’ve lived it twice and I know how boring it is to be there, because it takes three hours and it’s so a TV industry event, so I never wanted to watch again, even though I’m a voting member,” Svěrák added that he saw his horrific moment once.
“I watch nominated movies because I vote every year, and I see what kind of movies are made every year, and sometimes I like that,” he said, speaking about the developments the world is going through. “Overcorrection is a counter-pressure against something that was incorrect – and when that overcorrection reaches its peak, which I expect every day, the hippie period will begin to decline again, when anything is possible,” said said Svěrák, who sees overcorrection in the Czech environment as well.
“God forbid, I’ve always said I was born when I was born, and when I had just graduated from college, I was 24, and the Velvet Revolution came with her, and with her relaxation and years of freedom. You can’t imagine it, but only that, for example, you could park everywhere – there were fewer cars and you could leave a car anywhere You can’t even park in front of your own house today if you don’t have paid parking Or when my dad comes to visit me in Braník he can’t park in front of our house And those little misses of freedom that binds us, so they still add a bit of weight to that. And I keep saying that I’m happy to have lived my youthful life in a country where there was freedom and where we could really do anything. And where the measure of that freedom was where the freedom of the other began,” Svěrák added.
And what goes through the director’s head when he sees cruel war films, while he approaches the themes of war in his own films? “I think the director thinks the same as everyone else. How is it possible? How is it possible that we let him go this far? How do we stop him? And it surprises me…I’m looking for the positive in that. In fact, I love how many smart people are talking on TV today. In the past, only politicians would do some of their promotions and it was often invisible. And suddenly there’s has faces that we have never seen before. They are experts and talk about things and have a terrible overview. The things they say are interesting. Then I was satisfied with the way the whole world and Europe united. I had no idea of the possibility for people living in a capitalist system to give up what is sacred to us, which is profit. And these companies began to do so. As they began to leave Russia, they left things there and o nt suddenly said that human life, dignity and decency are more than profit. It gives me goosebumps. And the huge wave of compassion that the whole world has for Ukraine, of humanity. For me, it almost balances the fear and the horror that the war and Putin cause,” says Svěrák.
According to him, as a child, we were childish and looked for substitution problems – because we lacked nothing, so we deserved such a domain.
Svěrák himself hosts a mother with a Ukrainian child at home. “It’s weird, because of course you see our concerns, if the cat has something to eat and if it has already eaten, if someone has fed it, or if I have to feed it, how much they are petty about the worries they have. And we have a mother there with two boys, and now her mother has come there, so the grandmother who was in Kharkov and was afraid to leave, but she then managed to get here through Russia, Belarus and Poland with no money. She was robbed again by taxi drivers in Russia, but she made it, so now they are happier to be together. But each day, we realize how wonderful it is to have glass windows, not to beat them – because their apartment, which she bought three years ago, caught a rocket from the other side of the building. So they don’t even have a place to go back to,” Svěrák said.
Speaking of Ukrainians, he said that they are people who live near Russia, but have a desire for democracy. “And the desire for life changes. That’s why the war is here. Because Ukraine wanted to join Europe, or live according to European standards. According to our standards. So these people have the will and now they fight for something, and I think they’ll be willing to fight for it, for something that we take for granted and we don’t appreciate and we probably couldn’t fight alone. So they’re going to remind us of that. They come as a workforce, they are young and they kind of bring life and what we have already forgotten,” he added.
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