Throughout his years in exile (1974-1989), Němec was only able to bring a few of his original fiction film screenplays to fruition and in the US he worked as a commercial wedding videographer. Before the political situation allowed him to return to Czechoslovakia, he was invited to make two conventional documentaries: in the US a portrait of the Polish author Czesław Miłosz, The Poet Remembers, and prior to that, producer and director Otto Olejár asked Němec to co-direct a documentary with him about the historical events surrounding the signing of The Munich Agreement of 1938 – for Czechoslovakia a subject of national trauma.
Using plentiful archival footage and existing TV material along with well-researched new interviews, they arrived at an engaging argument against the appeasement tactics of the Western allies towards Hitler, spearheaded by British Prime Minister Chamberlain. A comedy TV sketch with John Cleese mocking the perceived culprit is weaved throughout the film to lighten the mood.   

Filmmaker
Otto Olejár, Jan Němec
Country
United Kingdom
Year
1988
Medium
File
Length
99’
Language
English
Producer
Otto Olejár
Production Company
CINETEL Productions ltd
Writer
John Charmley
Cinematography
Colin Clarke
Editor
Nicolas Wayman-Harris, Colin Gordon, Annat Kennet
Sound Design
Roger Johnson
Music
Eric Clapton
Cast
Nicol Williamson, John Cleese, Peter Cook, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Alexander F. Douglas-Home, John Charmley