Pilsen Finale honors Taborsky

'History of 8' director celebrated at Czech fest

PRAGUE — The Pilsen Finale Festival, the Czech Republic’s main fest, opened Monday with a salute to documentary filmmaker Vaclav Taborsky and his 1968 work “History of 8.”

The title is a reference to years ending in that digit in which important events occurred.

Soviet tanks rolled in to quash the Prague Spring that year, a crisis also chronicled by Vera Chytilova, Jan Nemec, Evald Schorm and others — often at great personal risk.

The week-long fest, now in its 21st edition, is a gauge of the state of the local industry.

It will screen 180 fiction features and docus, with the best awarded the Golden Kingfisher on Saturday. The Czech Film Center, meanwhile, presents major projects in production.

Twelve features compete for the kudos (some 19 shot in the last year will screen), while 34 docus are in the running in a separate category.

Czech docus flourished in the last year, with “Citizen Havel,” a behind-the-scenes look at the presidency of playwright Vaclav Havel, setting aud records and winning fest berths abroad.

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