Today marks the first of our Lidice film showings in Chicago as part of the city’s 2014 commemorative events.
As you probably know, we began production on the documentary after learning about the WWII Lidice tragedy and if you haven’t seen it already, the documentary tells the story of how Stoke-on-Trent citizens helped to rebuild Lidice, a small town in the Czech Republic that was destroyed in the war. Released in 2013, the film has received a phenomenal response, shown to politicians, family members and school children through the UK and Czech Republic, and we’re now extremely proud that the story has head across the pond to Chicago, Illinios.
We were asked to show the film at a number of events in Chicago to the city’s large Czech and Slovak community as part of the city’s commemorations. The film will be shown at the National Czech and Slovak Museum on the 7th June and at the Lidice Commemorative event at Crest Hill, which was renamed Lidice in remembrance of the tragedy, on the 8th June.
It’s amazing to see the film have a life of its own and to reach so many people across the world, and we’re really proud that this inspirational story of sincere solidarity is receiving the recognition it deserves.
We are delighted to announce that the famous Czech beer makers at Staropramen are now one of the sponsors of our film. The involvement of such a top brand in the documentary not only helps with production but will raise considerably the profile of the film. A big thanks to all those at Carlsberg UK for making this happen.
On Saturday morning we flew out to Prague so we could attend the memorial of the Lidice massacre. The main event took place on Sunday June 10th but we took this opportunity to meet some of the survivors to hear their stories and record interviews with Mrs Supikova and Mr Hanf.
Their stories were both moving and inspiring and it was fantastic to meet them and everybody in Lidice. We were also blessed with some wonderful warm weather on Saturday evening in which to film the interviews.
The memorial service took place on the Sunday with the laying of wreaths at the mass grave of the men of Lidice. It was a very moving experience and it was clear to see how important this event was not only to the people of Lidice but also the people of the Czech Republic, Europe…the world! There were wreaths from embassies around the globe and also one from the people of Stoke-on-Trent. There were speeches from the assembled dignitaries including the Czech Prime Minister. Once this had finished the ‘festival of light’ commenced, this included performances from children’s choirs from across the Czech Republic.
Despite the wet weather we were able to film interviews with the Mayor of Lidice and historians from the Czech Republic. We also took this opportunity to talk with Cllr Andy Platt – making his 11th trip to Lidice! – and also new Stoke on Trent Mayor Terry Crowe. They both spoke passionately about the links between Stoke on Trent and Lidice.
We used Monday mornings fine weather as an opportunity to record some footage around the memorial and also to visit the new village of Lidice and the art gallery before heading back to Prague and flying back to the UK.
It was a great trip to make and an event which we were tremendously proud to be a part of. The footage and interviews we were able to record will be invaluable to the final film and it was something we had to attend. To anyone considering a trip to the Czech Republic themselves we would definitely urge you to consider visiting Lidice to visit the wonderful museum, art gallery, rose garden and also to remind yourself about an important part of our shared history and also our ability to come together and re-build following such terrible events.
Thanks to everyone who made this possible.