In January 1969 student Jan Palach set himself on fire in Prague in protest against the Soviet occupation. While the police searched for his followers, the government commenced a denunciation campaign forcing Palach’s family to hire charismatic attorney Dagmar Buresova (Tatiana Pauhofova) to defend his reputation. Concentrating on the impact his sacrifice had within the social and political climate, Holland acutely depicts a web of conflicts among the student protesters, the police and the media, all trying to advance their own interests while watching their backs. A panoramic and highly dramatic portrayal of the Czech experience at the beginning of Normalisation.
Burning Bush (Hořící keř)
Agnieszka Holland, CZ, 2013, 206 min, English subtitles
Part of Made in Prague, The New Czech Cinema UK Tour (7 July – 20 September 2015), organised by the Czech Centre London in partnership with Czech Film Center and Picturehouse Cinemas.