Oratorio for Prague | EW.com

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Oratorio for Prague In August 1968, Prague director Jan Nemec set out to film a carnival and ended up shooting a war. Wide-eyed and earnest, Oratorio for PragueOratorio for PragueDocumentary, WarPT26M In August 1968, Prague director Jan Nemec set out to film a carnival and ended up shooting a war. Wide-eyed and earnest, Oratorio for Prague1992-09-25Facets Home Video
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Oratorio for Prague

Genre: Documentary, War; Director: Jane Nemec; Runtime (in minutes): 26; Distributor: Facets Home Video

In August 1968, Prague director Jan Nemec set out to film a carnival and ended up shooting a war. Wide-eyed and earnest, Oratorio for Prague catches Czechs and Slovaks reveling in hippie love, folk traditions, and the human face of Socialist Alexander Dubcek, all as blissfully unaware as Nemec himself that they were about to witness a doomsday scenario. The shocked crew soon finds its cameras trained on Soviet tanks, shooting the raw footage that would first show the world that, contrary to official statements from the USSR, the Red Army was not ”invited.”

The film Nemec had planned would probably have been a sweet trifle, a spectacle of dancing teens and smiling grannies. Instead, with unanticipated scenes such as that of a grandmother facing down tanks with a portrait of her president, the filmmaker’s naïveté only underscores the poignant futility of his compatriots’ protests. A-