Velvet Terrorists (2013) - full transcript

The Film maps the terrorist acts of individuals in the period of "normalisation" in Czechoslovakia. Their attempts, which often remained unrealized, were isolated heroic cries in the homogeneous gray mass of society. With the main theme as the background, the film looks at issues of ethics, irrationality and terrorism, its sense and deadly force in today's world. The film focuses on a trio of protagonists. The first wanted to blow up a podium during Labour Day celebrations in the 1970's. The second wanted to assassinate the President and launch an anti-Communist revolution, but his letter addressed to the CIA was so naive that he never received a response. The third destroyed billboards. At the time their acts were crimes, though today they are considered to be heroism. It is a film about relative perspectives on history and its heroes.

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My name is Stanislav Kratochvíl.

I was arrested for terrorism
and got 5 years in prison

for trying to blow up a tribune
for the May Day parade.

I didn’t like the Communists.

Now I live in Sereď, I live alone,
and I’m doing fine.

I’m like a lone traveler
in the desert,

I bother my friends
on the phone every night,

I don’t know how to be alone,
I don’t want to be alone...

- Hi, I’m Stano.
- Hello.

You’re very quiet...
Where shall we start?



- Where do you work?

I work in a grocery store,
behind the deli counter.

I’ve been divorced
for 17 years now,

I have three kids,
two small grandchildren.

I live with my youngest,
20-year-old son.

I’ve been alone for a while now.

- And you?
- I’m single.

Have you ever been married?

No... I've missed out on that.

Have you had girlfriends?

Yes... but I haven’t
found the right one yet.

- Girls are all pretty...
- But what color hair does he like?

First you check out how she looks,
her boobs, her butt, her legs...

I like brunettes,
he likes blondes ... or redheads.



It depends...

You don’t even have to talk to her,
you just take a look at her...

Blondes are pretty
and brunettes are also pretty...

- If she's pretty, she's pretty.
- That's true...

But there has to be
something about her...

I prefer dark hair,
blondes are very cunning...

- You want a strawberry?
- Give me...

- Delicious, right?
- Yes, thanks.

It’s the best thing in the world.

This is gorgeous.

- Do you like this picture?
- Yes, it’s beautiful.

Have you been
married before?

No. I’ve tried but
it didn’t work out.

Life can be hard. I’m divorced, so...

I’ve been disappointed.

- Long story, right?
- Yes, long... and painful.

He didn't leave me anything.

I didn’t expect him
to behave like he did.

Sure... things happen
that you don’t expect.

Things happened to me too
that I didn't expect.

- That’s why it’s so hard.
- It is.

- 70...
- That’s good!

- 70 - 70 - 70.

Waistline 70?
She is like you!

Then 90 - 70 - 90.

Sounds good.

There were blondes,
redhead, all kinds...

- Her eyes?
- I don’t know.

Jeeze, but that’s the main thing!

- Whatever...

- Eyes are the windows to the soul.

- I don’t see anything there.
- Because you’re blind!

Dude, how can you tell
what she’s like?

In jail I needed to suss out people.

I had to know who’d rat on me
and who wouldn’t...

I can tell what people are like
but it takes a few days or weeks.

You can’t judge people
in 15 minutes.

- You’re not that good.
- No, I’m not.

Look, I’ll keep her
for a month or two,

I'll see into her soul.

And if it doesn’t work then – Goodbye!

- I went to visit a friend in jail.

It's not a bad life there.

They’re crying how bad they’re treated...

Now it’s like a summer camp!
Not like under the Commies

- I heard that you were locked up too.
- Yes.

- What for?
- Just a stupid prank...

What did you do?

I wanted to blow up a tribune

before the May Day parade.

- Where was this?
- In Sereď.

- Why?
- I was pissed at the Communists.

- How long?
- Five years.

That’s not so bad, for such a thing...

- This was still during Communism?
- Right, in 1984.

- What was it like in there, back then?
- It was hard. Very hard.

I had a room,
fuck them, 2x4 meters!

Like this...

Imagine a room like this to live in
- there to shit, to eat.

Like a lion in a cage, even worse!

- This was the cell.
- That small?

This was the toilet ...

and the door was here.

You're shitting and
a guy is staring at you.

A bunk-bed was here for two,

here you had two nightstands,

here a chair and
a small table for eating.

This was my living space.
This is where you walked.

That’s too small even for a pig!

That was life during Communism.

To say that Stano
is a star citizen is bullshit,

but he lives a normal life
in this country,

He wanted to see the world,
he dreamed of America

Of a better life, more cheerful...

The Communists tortured us, exploited us.

I didn’t want to run.
I wanted to see the world –

the Grand Canyon
and the Mississippi in America,

and New Zealand, Australia, Africa...

The pyramids! That’s what I care about,
not democracy and all that.

The Americans were killing their blacks too.

Whatever! There is something
nice to see in every country.

- Can I say something?
- I love traveling, and we couldn't.

Look at Schuster – a Communist,
and they made him President!

He didn’t give a shit about the country,
he went all over the world!

He was a puppet, a Communist –

there were floods here
and he was over there...

... hunting those
– what’s the word? – snakes!

That was some President!
The whole world was laughing at us.

Millions of people wanted democracy

and then vote for a Communist
to become President!

And we still have
a Communist President - CENSORED!

That Communist bastard!

He has Czechoslovak Communist
Party tattooed on his back.

How can this be democracy
if we’re still ruled by Communists!?

- Double it!
- This gun is stuck, fuck!

There he is!
Aim lower, shoot!

A lamb is better than a woman.

A woman is for 10-15 minutes,
a lamb lasts longer.

- What shall we talk about?
- About us.

- Do you have any hobbies?
- I like to go fishing.

- And your hobbies?
- I have many.

Sports, art, culture,
so many things.

We don’t have that much
in common then...

- Why did we even meet?
- Why did we meet?

Because you don’t want to be alone.

- I’ve never been so lucky...
- She’s 180 cm tall...

Long legs, B-cup tits...

Can you believe it?

And in bed – one leg touching
the window, the other up to the ceiling.

Fuck me...

I asked her what she liked to do,

she said - going to the theater
and crap like that...

You know city women,
they’re not into fishing...

But she asked about
your bank account, right?

And you tell her – My boss
owes me big bucks.

You have to fool them,
they’re all after your money...

The theater, my ass...

- Have you been in love?
- Sure, when I was young.

- So what happened?
- They sent me to jail.

To jail? For what?

Just a stupid thing I did.

I wanted to blow up a tribune
they built for the May Day parade.

- To blow it up? When?
- 1984.

I was angry at the Communists
and I didn’t know what to do about it,

so I thought I’d show them
that not everybody likes them.

So you were directly involved?

I had a picture of the KISS on my shirt

and the police beat me
and made me remove it.

Really?

Communist cunts,
they don’t deserve any better!

I’ll fix these parts and it’ll blow up
real nice – right, uncle?

You wanted to blow up
a tribune full of people?

No, it was at night,
there was nobody there.

They really fucked me up...

I sat around here, there was the light,
and the tribune over there.

As I worked on it,
the police came

and knocked it out of my hand.

And then what happened?
Did you manage to do it?

No, they caught me –
there were guards at night.

I was convicted and sent to jail.

The cop asks me how
I meant to do it.

I showed him – put the dynamite
underneath,

and it would lift up
the platform, nothing big...

This guy calls the others –
Come listen to this!

They cancelled
the whole May Day parade.

- So you achieved what you wanted...
- Sort of...

We’re going to die together!
Don’t worry...

My name is František Bednár.

In 1984 I was convicted of terrorism,
according to Act no. 93

for sending a package with explosives
to a Secretary of the Communist Party.

I was planning to assassinate
Czechoslovak President Gustáv Husák.

- Enjoy your meal.
- Thank you.

I’m married with two kids,
I live in Poprad.

- Don’t people usually say
“happily married”?

- It’s such a commonplace.

Now show me how it was
on your wedding photo.

- You forgot?
- I was looking that way.

- Did you embrace each other?
- No!

Back then it was very discrete.

Step forward,
and you boys behind them.

Just like that, great!

And now smile everybody.

I’ll show you how I used
to rehearse escape 30 years ago.

We planned our mission
to get weapons and explosives.

We were rehearsing
"handbrake turn".

You speed up in reverse

and then suddenly jerk
the wheel as fast as you can.

That sends the car into
a tailspin and it turns around.

Now let’s try.

- From whom you were escaping?
- From guards, policemen...

Anyone, who was on the crime scene.

Get ready!

I knew it won’t go this time.

- What am I supposed to do?
- The same thing I did.

- I can’t do that!
- Of course you can.

- Which way?
- Back up, add gas.

- I can’t see a thing.
- Doesn’t matter, turn the wheel!

Now 1st gear, and go!

Then hand-brake and turn!

Add gas and pull the hand-brake!

Watch out for the tire!

- Damn it!
- Damn it!

- Go, turn to the right!

- Damn it!

The first thing I recommend
is the courage to be a fool.

A fool in the most beautiful sense.
Let’s try to be fools

and demand change of what is said
to be unchangeable.

Everyone of us should realize
that however insignificant they are,

they can change the world.

That is if we believe that there are things
that are worth suffering for.

In the 1980s, I worked in the furnace room
at the seat of the local Communist Party.

I used to listen
to Radio Free Europe during work,

I heard about Solidarity
and martial law in Poland

and they compared
Czechoslovak and Polish people.

They were very disdainful
about Czechoslovak citizens,

calling them an indifferent
and cowardly nation.

We wanted to show the radio hosts

that there are some
who have the courage to stand up to the regime.

First of all, we wanted to be armed.

We robbed the seat of the Communist
Army Youth Organization.

We took everything – shotguns, pistols,
and about 6,000 bullets.

I didn’t want to fire,
I wanted the psychological effect.

There were four of us
in our resistance group.

Me, two of my friends, and one woman.

She was a friend, we could trust her,
we shared the same political opinions.

Close your eyes
and try to imagine her.

I’m not good with faces.

She used to be my lover...

- Short or long hair?
- Medium length, I’d say.

- Thick hair or...?
- Average.

Friend, lover,
our silent connection – inconspicuous.

- Narrow or wide nose?
- Straight and narrow.

She knew about the guns,
she used to come shooting with us.

She was a better shooter than me.

- Eyes? Narrow? Big?

I really can't remember.

Her smile?

Ordinary, average...

I have her smile in my mind.
In the style of Mona Lisa.

With you
I seek day in the night...

We made a bomb with real explosives
but we made sure it wouldn’t explode.

My girlfriend was helping us,
she wrapped it in its box.

It was supposed to be only a warning.

Wrap it, write the address, mail it.

Who was it for?

For an addressee...

But who was it for?

With Parcel Service.

Head Secretary of the District
CP Office in Poprad.

Push a bit harder!

We decided to do something big.

Assassinate the Communist
President Gustáv Husák.

Top Party leaders came to the Tatras

and stayed
in their hunting mansion.

We wanted to hide
the bombs under the driveway

and blow them up when the President
would be passing there.

We have to fight against the regime.

By real action.

Even little David
can cause trouble to Goliath.

For our plot, we needed
a connection

with the Secret Service
of a capitalist country.

We decided to go on a fake honeymoon.

My girlfriend got us
all the visas and travel permits.

So boys, 28 years ago,
at this same bar,

I started my mission.

As soon as we arrived,
I went to a post office

and sent a telegram
to Radio Free Europe

telling them that I’ll be waiting
in Rovinj to discuss our common cause,

I’ll be at "K" bar near the bank.

I'll be the one in the blue
Gold Fassl Pils shirt.

I waited every evening, for ten days.

Nobody showed up
and I was asking myself – why?

I started thinking
about emigration.

Since nobody came,
I’d pack my bags and go.

We spent two nights discussing it
with my girlfriend

but she didn’t want to leave.

If she would’ve said yes back then,
I would’ve emigrated.

It felt as if I were
returning to a cemetery –

the arrogant Czechoslovak border guards
with their guns and dogs,

it was like entering prison.

Sorry to disturb you, I only
have a small favor to ask.

Jarka works abroad now
and I was wondering

if you could give me
her phone number.

I am really very sorry
but this story is finished for you.

She doesn't want to meet you.

I have something important to tell her.

- I don’t mean any harm...
- I am really sorry.

Well, that’s too bad,
all right then, thank you.

When I got back home

Jarmila and I broke up.

This is what I thought:

If they found out about me,

and I saw policemen outside my door

I’d get dressed, grab my gun,
jump out through the window,

and run as fast as possible,
over to Poland.

But my arrest came
in a very different manner.

It wasn’t at home,
or at work, but in town.

I was walking across the square
when four guys jumped at me saying –

Fero, let’s go have a beer,
and they surrounded me.

I was sentenced to 14 years.

I was released from jail
after the Revolution.

How did I get married?

I was an older man, at 33,
and I wanted a home.

- The bed’s fine.

- You’ve made your bed
and you have to lie in it.

My name is Vladimír Hučín
and I come from the Czech town Přerov.

I was arrested four times during
the Communist regime.

In 1971, for disturbing
a National CP Meeting,

in 1976, for an armed
attack at the elections

and a plot to use hand grenades against
Dean Reed, the Communist celebrity singer,

in 1983 for a bomb attack
on a Secret Service agent,

incitement, distribution
of anti-Soviet pamphlets,

and illegal possession of arms.

I’m divorced because
my wife couldn’t trust me

that I wouldn’t be arrested again.

This audition is to select one of you

who could carry out
the same acts of resistance

as I did during Communism.

It’s going to be tough and it’s up to you
if you can handle it.

What is it that bothers you
about the current system?

Hypocrisy among people...

Dishonesty...

Indifference...

There is no sense
of solidarity among people.

The fear...

The neo-Nazis...

- Why did you come to this audition?

- I want to be able
to defend myself if they got me.

They attack me just for the way I look,

when they don’t even know me.

Could you go as far as
using a gun?

A gun...

To use a gun to kill somebody?

I’m not sure.

I think so.

Only a very few people can know about it.
Ideally none at all.

Within your circle of friends, you’ll have to
come up with a convincing story

about why you
don’t go out as often anymore.

You’ll have to lie
to your boyfriend, to your parents.

Are you ready for that?

I think so.

- Where’s the guarantee
that it will stay between us?

- Right now you
probably can’t trust me...

That takes time...

In 1971, when I was 18, I went for a walk
with my dog not far from here,

and the People’s Militia
had their exercise here

as part of some
Communist program.

They were destroying
a statue of St. Sebastian,

shooting it into pieces

then they pulled it down with a rope.

They were all drunk.

They finished by pissing all over it.

When I saw all that, I felt such aversion
that I went for a gun.

You press here,
and then pull it back again.

This is the spine and
you see – it’s destroyed, he’s dead.

Some wounds aren’t fatal
but they cause strong bleeding,

so he’s finished.

Watch your shoulders, and focus.

He wants to kill me

– sit on my head
and pick my brains.

You can't be scared – you have to
overcome your fear.

You can learn it.

It’s a creature that was never liked.
He has a bad name.

- Please don’t kill me!

And so do I – so I guess
we’ve found each other.

You can close your eyes if it helps.
Lift your hand, slowly.

Give him this.

Good.
He made contact with you.

It’s okay, you can touch him.

I think you could have him sit
on your shoulder in a week’s time.

In real action, you’ll need drag.

- Do it yourself.
- I can’t see.

- Do you like me?
- Not bad, actually.

Only if I were younger...

I used to have long hair,
when I was 16-17 years old.

Things did not go well for me.

Once, I happened
to walk into a restaurant

where they celebrated
50 years of the CP.

I was wearing a Led Zeppelin T-shirt.

So they beat me up,
tore my hair out,

they smashed my face,
broke my teeth,

they wanted to shove
my head down the toilet.

That’s how I learned what the Communist
Party and their methods were like

and I got involved in resistance.

- The same stuff goes on today.
- No way is it the same now.

There’s no comparison.

Things I see in schools when I give talks,
the way young people dare to behave...

People in the street stare at me
as if I came from a different planet,

and say -
"What’s wrong with these kids today?"

But that’s just one person’s opinion,
they can’t put you in jail or anything...

They wanted to beat me up
just for my look.

But that’s not the state authorities!

- I’m scared...
- Don’t be.

Support the gun and hold it tight,
hold it in your hand.

Press it into your shoulder.

- Does it kick much?
- No it doesn’t.

Aim, breathe, and while you exhale,

try to adjust
the sights to your target.

- I’m afraid.
- Don’t be.

- Why are we shooting those busts?

- They are figures
of Communist ideology.

They have symbolic meaning.

Today, it’s busts,
tomorrow it will be something else.

You’ll see for yourself.

Excellent!

Go, go, go – keep up the pace.

Think of the muscle you’re flexing.

Keep going, until it starts aching.

Don’t wiggle, pull, focus on the muscles
in your abdomen.

I can’t anymore.

Now the main theme for the display –

this goes on top,
these are the People’s Militia,

next we use photodocumentation
- take this photo from Přerov.

And of course let’s not forget Leninism.

We use the carbon chloride
chemical formula,

we add this in the right measure.

When we apply mechanical pressure,
a blow or friction,

you get the reaction!

Because I was unjustly convicted in 1971,
I decided to work against the regime

and after I saw what they’re capable of...

I was destroying their
symbols by explosives.

- Try if it still tastes acidic...

- It does.
- Okay, we’ll rinse it again.

We wanted to crash their ideology
in any way possible.

They made their pin boards
more and more durable,

so we needed to use stronger explosives.

This is a very dangerous explosive,

it’s used for very
dangerous, powerful bombs.

In the course of my career,
I destroyed 41 such display cabinets.

One has to be prepared
for many things.

One thing is to be ready
to commit those acts

another is to be prepared
to do time behind the bars.

There is no luxury,
a jail is a jail.

The worst thing is that
it goes on for years.

That’s no joke.

- The sausage is pretty gross.

- At least it’s protein!

It’s better than in jail.

Sometimes you don’t have time to eat it,
you’re stressed, have no appetite,

there are others bullying you...

All you care about is how to get it in you,
you have to eat.

- Your wife doesn’t cook?
- I’m divorced.

- How come?
- Everybody knows.

- Not me.
- That’s not my fault.

- What happened?

- She couldn’t stand that
I was always in jail.

I was locked up four times!

She would’ve stayed if she
really loved you!

I initiated the divorce.

I had enough of
causing trouble to someone else.

It affects the whole family –
the house searches,

the mental drain of it – being surrounded
by the police and special squads.

So ... just live alone whole life?

In my situation – which is extreme,
it’s the best way.

And you?

What if you meet someone you like
and you’ll have to lead a double life.

You date him and then have to explain
where you’re spending your time.

This is still only a game
but once it’s for real, it will be different.

You don’t feel like eating anymore, I see.

So what do you say?

Is your motivation for what we’re doing
strong enough to keep you going?

Speak!

Yes.

Keep it slow.

Don’t use your legs,
it’s all in the arms.

- I’m done...
- One more.

And the last one – don’t let your legs
hang or you’ll fall. Do it!

Give me one more!

Slowly... Good.

In the early 1970s,
I used to relase such balloons

filled with thousand
of anti-Soviet pamphlets.

They covered the whole town.

- What kind of gas is this?
- Helium. It’s safe.

- That’s what gives you the funny voice.
- Yes, that’s the one.

- Can I take a puff?
- You want to try it? Go ahead!

What’s on the posters?

Inhale deeper!

What’s on those posters?

Down with Soviet dictatorship!

This is a serious matter.

Is that a current affair?

Not anymore but we still have to
watch out for them.

- What’s the point?

- It’s not pointless!

- Do you feel like a hero?

- No one thanks the heroes.

- But do you feel like one?
- Not anymore.

- You did before?
- I felt like I did something good.

- Because?
- Because I did something at least.

I didn’t just sit at home waiting
to see what will happen.

You have to fight
for democracy and freedom.

It doesn’t come for free.

You can let it go.

- You think it’s still burning?
- Yes, it is.

- You should leave
only your underwear on.

- I can roll it up but
I won’t strip down.

When you’re in front
of the specialists,

they’ll make you
take your clothes off.

- What’s the problem?
We need to try this.

- I don’t know...
I just don’t like the idea.

Fine... Roll up your shirt.

- Is this enough?
- We’ll see.

Lift your arms.

Look, you cannot be afraid.

I’ve been on the lie detector 11 times

and I know from experience
that it can be fooled.

Keep your breathing regular.

- Were you born in Krnov?
- Yes.

- Do you have a boyfriend?
- No.

Do you know anyone who disagrees
with the political system?

– I do.

Wrap it around, through here.
My arm is thicker than yours.

A little more and wind it.

Let me, my hand is stronger.

- Is your name Vladimír Hučin?
- Yes.

- Do you live in Přerov?
- I do.

- Have you ever been a member
of the Communist party?

- No.

- Have you ever killed someone?

Could we skip this question?

- Could you sacrifice your accomplice?
- I could.

- Are you training someone
in subversive activities?

- I am.

- Is it a man or a woman?
- A woman.

- Do you love her?
- No.

How do you feel right now?
Are you happy?

- Can you describe
the way you feel now?

- I have mixed feelings.

- What kind?
- This is not the place to discuss them.

Speak. Be specific.

- Is there anything worrying you?
- Stop prying!

How much longer do you
think you could take it?

I don’t know.

- Slower?
- Something like that.

Keep going, don’t care about me.
You lead, you’re the bass, I follow.

OUR DREAM IS
TO SEE YOU HAPPY.

Excellent, perfect.

Now everybody smile!

Are you a happy family?
Yes or no?

Right now, yes.

You know how to pull the trigger,

this is the security latch,
it moves back and forth.

You can use both hands if you like,
in sport shooting they do it single-handedly.

Now release the safety button.

Try with one arm, plant your feet...

- Wait, you need ear-plugs.
- Give me some then.

Release the security latch –
but don’t turn the gun!

Don’t turn it around like
your wooden spoon in the pot.

Handling the wooden
spoon also takes practice!

This is my vision
of perfect date...

I’d take my girlfriend to the pond,
at sunset,

I would put explosives in the water
without her knowing about it,

then I’d blow it up.

It would scare her
and she’d flung herself into my arms.

Don’t worry, it wasn’t that big.

A nice date on the lake...