This article is divided into two parts—in the first I focus on how directors portray the socialist period and in the second I discuss the breakthroughs and continuities in representing contemporary society. Both are comedies that depict obligatory military service in the 1950s.
Surprising as it may seem—but in fact not at all rare—since the “Velvet Revolution,” Czech directors have preferred comedy to other genres and have chosen to show even the most tragic episodes from Czech history as situations in which nothing discourages people having fun.Compared to other arts, cinema has faced greater challenges, for even the most independent production needs Miloš Forman, the Czech director who has been living in the U. since 1968, once perceptively observed that Czech film in the early 1990s was in transition between a greenhouse and a jungle.2 Filmmakers had to get used to the free market, to competition and, above all, to the new situation in financing.The average cost of a Czech film today is about thirty million Czech Korunas (CZK) (approximately USD 1.5 million) and due to the limited possibilities of distribution it is extremely difficult to cover expenses.3 The only state subsidy comes from the State Fund of the Czech Republic for the Support and Development of Czech Cinema4 which has an annual budget in the tens of millions CZK.PTPs were the special battalions in the period between 19, designed for young men believed to be dangerous to the communist regime.
Altogether about 60,000 men were forced to join this branch of the military.
For one reason or another they did not match the official image of a devoted member of communist society: they were the sons of factory or farm owners (seen as “exploiters”), priests, students of theology, or .