Kamil Fila

    is a Czech film historian. After graduating from the Masaryk University in Brno in film theory and history and audiovisual arts, he wrote for various alternative cultural magazines and since 2012 has been a staff writer on the weekly Respekt. “… [Žižek] further believes that the Soviet invasion helped preserve the illusion that socialism with a human face might have succeeded. Without the invasion capitalism might have ensued or the [Czech] comrades might have tightened the screws themselves. However, the invasion ‘helped us’ wallow in the fantasy of what might have been ‘if only’… Just as well the tanks rolled in, says Slavoj Žižek with a semi-contemptuous grin, without seriously questioning the violence and suffering and without seeming to appreciate the fact that it was the loss of the illusion of the wonderful history that “might have been” that people found most painful. His conclusions might have offended some of those who lived through it all but to a younger generation they offer a refreshing view, opposed to the martyrdom myth we were brought up on. On the other hand, the film’s viewers may have relished his apt observation that ideology isn’t kept alive by only leaders but also by the idea of ‘the people’. ‘The people’ are the greatest taboo. All leaders want to project the image of being ‘one of the people’, mere servants to a grand idea. And while they may occasionally have to be tough for the sake of the grand idea, deep inside they are pure and genuine. Lenin, Stalin and Hitler have been portrayed stroking children and demonstrating their affection for animals. That is why communist ideology knows no greater anathema than mockery of ordinary people, which is what Miloš Forman did in his early films – Black Peter, The Loves of a Blonde, and The Firemen’s Ball.”