Burning Bush – Agnieszka Holland

Burning Bush (Czech: Hořící keř) is a 2013 three-part miniseries created for HBO by Polish director Agnieszka Holland. Based on real characters and events, this haunting drama focuses on the personal sacrifice of a Prague history student, Jan Palach, who set himself on fire in 1969 in protest against the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia in the previous year. Dagmar Burešová, a young female lawyer, became part of his legacy by defending Palach’s family in a trial against the communist government, a regime which tried to dishonour Palach’s sacrifice, a heroic action for the freedom of Czechoslovakia. The fight for freedom, for moral principles, self-sacrifice and protest in those desperate times led to the moral unification of a repressed nation, which twenty years later defeated the totalitarian regime. The anniversary of Jan Palach’s death inspired a new generation of students to start protests that led to the eventual fall of communism in Czechoslovakia, part of the eventual destruction of the Iron Curtain. Lawyer Dagmar Burešová, who spent her life representing dissident opposition leaders, became the first Minister of Justice in a free Czechoslovakia. The film is dedicated to Jan Palach, Jan Zajíc, Evžen Plocek, Ryszard Siwiec and to all who sacrificed their lives while fighting for freedom. At the International TV Festival in Monte Carlo, Ivan Trojan was awarded the prize of Golden Nymph for the Best Actor in a mini-series. It has been selected to be screened in the Special Presentation section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. The series was later edited into a film. The premiere of the film version was set to be on 12 September 2013. The film was originally selected as the Czech entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards. …”
NY Times: Czech Pawns In a System That Stifled by A.C. Scott
Burning Bush – Agnieszka Holland
W – Iron Curtain
YouTube: Burning Bush – Official Trailer (Dir. Agniezska Holland)

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