If you happen not know who Václav Havel was or what he has done this article from The Guardian tells quite a lot.
He died some days ago. I kept hearing about him all my life and yet there are still things I didn’t know about him. For example that he acted as a Joan Baez guitar boy – of course he was hiding from police.
Or that he was a chemical laboratory technician.
Some time ago I met him. It was extremely hot day on a he juts sat there surrounded by journalist, photographers and ordinary people. And they all listened – it didn’t matter how old you were. Old people who only came because of him, young students with the same motivation, teenagers who were barely one or two years old during the revolution in the 1989, or kids asking their parents who the funny man was.
For the young generation he was someone others always spoke about in a good terms. However, younger generation, they barely knew who he really was. I sometimes think that they even forget what has happened in year 1989.
And just to remind you he was not known not only as a politician, but also as an artist and performer. Before he has become the face of the revolution, he was acclaimed writer and the chairman of the Circle of Independent Writers. I saw his play The Garden Ceremony in the theatre. It was amusing satire, highly intellectual and surreal in its own way.
One can say just another intellectual that had become the president. This one was different. He was someone who has pointed his finger at the Czechoslovakia and said look here – so that the big countries would finally know what was going on in the Eastern Europe.
Only few people outside Czech Republic or Slovakia knew that he also tried his luck as the director. His first and last movie was called Leaving – and he only made it few moths ago. How symbolical. I can’t say that movie is amazing, but it’s definitely interesting.
There is also a documentary Citizen Havel made by deceased Czech filmmaker Pavel Koutecký
Sure there is hardly anything bad about him in this movie – fact that many critics can’t get over. But as many of his revolutionary ancestors before him he deserves it too– and we can proudly call him the symbol he was meant to be.
I didn’t go out to light a candle for him. I should do it. It´s too late now, but let me say my goodbye this way.