Robert Kirchhoff prepares a feature-length project about “the icon of socialism with a human face”
- The Slovak director is working on the documentary All Men Become Brothers, about Alexander Dubček
Slovak director-producer Robert Kirchhoff, who directed the documentary about the Romani holocaust A Hole in the Head [+see also:
interview: Robert Kirchhoff
film profile], has been preparing the feature-length project All Men Become Brothers, about “the icon of socialism with a human face,” Alexander Dubček, since 2015. The Czechoslovak and Slovak politician attempted to reform the communist government during the Prague Spring, and after the Velvet Revolution, he became the chairman of the federal Czechoslovak parliament. In 1989, Dubček received the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Kirchhoff called the project “the first complex film about Alexander Dubček – convinced communist, idealist, social democrat”.
“The great plan of our modern history is reflected in the deeds and ideals of one man who no longer has the opportunity to speak about the controversies that accompany his decisions and personal conviction,” explains the director, adding that the film won’t be a portrait documentary but rather “a historic, essayistic documentary deconstruction.”
“We will try to create a formally and inventively impressive film opened to interpretations about one of the most prominent and world-famous personalities of contemporary Czechoslovak history. This story may lead us to man's eternal problem, namely the ideals he defeats with pragmatism, or to how an idealistic humanist could not step out of his era,” adds Kirchhoff, who will use archival materials along footage he shot in different countries.
He also plans to incorporate ”some making-of footage” from another project about the politician, Dubček – Human Face: Freedom or Death, which has been in the making alongside his film. Originally planned as a feature-length film, the project has been transformed into a series directed by Czech-Croatian director Lordan Zafranović and starring Oleg Menshikov in the lead role and Gérard Depardieu as Leonid Brezhnev, according to the project´s producer Andrej Antonio Leca.
Kirchhoff’s documentary entered production in 2018 and went on hiatus in the first half of 2020 due to the pandemic outbreak. The final cut should be ready by May 2021 while visual and sound post-production is scheduled for the period from June to September 2021.
All Men Become Brothers is produced by Slovak outfit atelier.doc, Radio and Television of Slovakia and Czech production company Endorfilm. The film has been supported by the Slovak Audiovisual Fund, the Czech Film Fund and Creative Europe Media. The preliminary international premiere is planned for Autumn 2021 with the Slovak premiere expected in early 2022.
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