Entertainment

Vaclav Havel wraps up film debut

The Czech Republic is eagerly awaiting freshman film director Vaclav Havel's first — and what he says will probably his last — movie.
Former Czech Republic president, playwright and new director Vaclav Havel, right, talks to his camera director, Jan Malir, during shooting of his film debut Leaving in Ceska Skalice, Czech Republic, in July. ((Petr David Josek/Associated Press))
The Czech Republic is eagerly awaiting freshman film director Vaclav Havel's first — and what he says will probably his last — movie.

The noted dissident playwright and former Czech president completed on-location filming on the movie adaptation of his stage drama Leaving on Saturday, according to a spokesperson.

In its Monday edition, daily newspaper Mlada Fronta Dnes quoted Havel as saying the feature-length film will probably also be his last.

The 73-year-old Havel has been shooting the drama, about a statesman driven from power and adjusting to life after politics, in the Czech town of Ceska Skalic this summer.

"I've been quite surprised with how everything works," he told the BBC and other media who visited the set earlier this month.

"I come up with an idea. I tell the person standing next to me about it and the next day we're filming it. It certainly wasn't like that when I held political office."

Havel debuted Leaving in Prague in 2008 and it also played at the Orange Tree Theatre in London. He wrote the main female role for his wife, Dagmar, who also reprises the part in the film.

The former president has denied that the drama is autobiographical, saying only that he drew some inspiration from his experiences in office.

With files from The Associated Press