Jirí Menzel and Jan Patočka on sacrifice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

109 Downloads (Pure)


This paper puts the Czech New Wave film-maker Jirí Menzel into a philosophical discourse with the Czech phenomenologist Jan Patočka. Essentially the paper argues that an examination of Menzel’s films offers a criticism of Patočka’s understanding of the role of the dissident sacrifice. The two films explored are the 1966 film Closely Watched Trains (Ostre sledované vlaky), and the 1969 film (although not released until 1990 due to censorship) Larks on a String (Skrivánci na niti). These two films make a succinct argument for problematizing the dissident’s sacrifice. Patočka argues that the dissident sacrifice is an act which is meaningful in itself. Menzel makes his criticism by adding a deal of ambiguity to the actions of the dissident, and this ambiguity places a question mark over the meaning of the sacrificial act and its effect.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScreening the Past
Publication statusPublished - 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'Jirí Menzel and Jan Patočka on sacrifice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this