Letter to Wollongong Print E-mail

Background to the Film

"A Letter to Wollongong" was originally written in 1993 for radio in Australia to mark the 25th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. It was later adapted for the stage with performances in the UK, Switzerland, South Africa and the Czech Republic.

The Author of the Film

Dr Jaroslava Moserová was appointed Member of the Czech Parliament in 1990 by Havel. She was later elected in Czechoslovakia's first free election following the Velvet Revolution. In 1991 she was appointed Ambassador to Australia and New Zealand. She later became a senator and for a number of years was Vice-President of the Czech Senate. Dr. Moserová was a burns specialist and was one of the team that tried to save the life of Jan Palach, who set himself on fire in January 1969 in protest to the apathy of his countrymen to the Soviet invasion. She was the only women candidate in the Czech Presidential Elections of 2003, beating one former Prime Minister but losing to Klaus.

Story Line of the Film

The film is based on the events surrounding Jan Palach. The central character in the film, a nurse at the burns centre in Prague, wrote a letter to her brother, who had left some years earlier for Australia. She never sent the letter. it reveals something of the struggle faced by all who lived in Czechoslovakia during those years following the Soviet invasion in 1968.

The Film

The film, which was shot in 2001 on location in Prague, stars Christine Channer and Jiri Datel Novotny, has original music composed by Penelope Thwaites and runs for 36 minutes. Screenplay and direction is by Ken Dodds.

Cost: Education: £49; Home Use £25; + VAT & postage where relevant. Cheques payable to Anglo-Nordic Production Trust.

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