Jáchym Topol once said to me in an interview that there’s nothing he hates more than “Magic Prague”. But from what you’re suggesting perhaps he’s not quite telling the truth about himself.
“Yes. I can completely see where he’s coming from on that and I hate sentimentalized ideas of Prague too, but – yes – his Prague is full of magic. I think it’s a different kind of magic. It’s the dark magic that you hear in the songs of The Plastic People of the Universe. That’s also a kind of Magic Prague.”
Zuzi in particular is fighting the battle for self-determination, to no longer to be a projection of those who yearn after her; to portray herself, rather than be portrayed. Alena tells her, ‘There’s something about you which can’t be softened. (…) Something which can’t be smoothed out with brush strokes’. At the same time, the story of a country’s emancipation is being told: the Czech Republic. Ochre and Tomàš experienced and took part in the Velvet Revolution in 1989. Zuzi and Alena grew up in post-Soviet Czech Republic, but they are not unaffected by the past.