Czechoslovakia’s “Velvet Revolution” is one of the most stirring episodes of people-power in recent history. Inspired by the courageous struggle of a handful of dissidents, and sparked by idealistic students demonstrating in the streets of Prague, Czechs and Slovaks brought an end to forty years of communist tyranny through bloodless revolution in 1989. Today, Vaclav Havel, the former outlaw playwright who led the opposition, is respected as one of the most important human rights figures of the 20th Century.
Though many informed people see the relevance of the Velvet Revolution to current events, great majorities of people around the world are still unaware of this inspiring story. Fewer still, are those who know about the trials and tribulations Vaclav Havel and his fellow dissidents endured to achieve a bloodless transfer of power. For this reason, and in support of freedom and human rights around the world, we set out to make this documentary.
What we couldn’t have known until we made the film, is how little is known about what really took place even in the Czech Republic, where many young people remain in the dark about their country’s communist past.
We are grateful that so many key figures from this important episode, including President Vaclav Havel, agreed to participate in this documentary. In a world where viable alternatives to armed conflict are still desperately needed, the time is right to reflect on 1989’s Velvet Revolution.