Historie – Otázky – Problémy

Druhý život Bible kralické v českém historickém filmu


Abstract: This paper deals with the image of the Kralice Bible (and in a broader sense the image of “prohibited” evangelical works in general) in Czech historical film from the 1950s to the 1980s. The second life of this phenomenon and its changing face is examined through an analysis of three films – Temno – Darkness (directed by Karel Steklý, 1950), Čest a sláva – Honour and Glory (directed by Hynek Bočan, 1968) and Poklad hraběte Chamaré – The Treasure of Count Chamaré (directed by Zdeněk Troška, 1984). All of these are adaptations of novels (Temno written by Alois Jirásek in 1915, Čest a sláva by Karel Michal in 1966, and Poklad again by Alois Jirásek in 1881). This analysis also focuses on the extent to which the film adaptation is true to its literary source and the extent to which it diverges from this source and the reasons, which were not always based on the differing expressive devices of film and literary treatments, but often involved purely ideological reasons. Of course, these three films do not make up an exhaustive list of works in which the motif of persecuted secret non-Catholics appears. Both Czech historical films and television output present a number of other examples of more or less clearly articulated persecution against non-Catholics in the 17th and 18th centuries, including the destruction of the Kralice Bible, Comeniusʼs writings and other books of Protestant origin. However, these three films are representative examples where this subject has been depicted, even with regard to the period in which they were made. They may also operate as a kind of pars pro toto of the post-White Mountain era at the beginning of the 1950s, the end of the 1960s and the first half of the 1980s. At the same time they allow us to analyse the traditional conflict that forms the basis for the subject depicted (i.e. the representatives of the Catholic church confronting secret non-Catholics) and its stereotypical portrayal, or its programmatic destruction, which may be content-related, but not necessarily formal (or in the case of the film depiction aesthetic and visual). It is this suggestive aestheticization and visualization of an emotionally charged subject that becomes a means for Czech historical film to play a role (whether intentionally under the influence of ideological pressures, or involuntarily out of respect for generally held images of the past) in the latest form of Czech historical memory, an integral and evidently a permanent part of which is the vision of the post-White Mountain reality as an era of disastrous conflicts between Catholics and Protestants.

Keywords: Kralice Bible; persecution of non-Catholics; historical film; historical memory

Doc. Mgr. Marie Šedivá Koldinská, Ph.D., vedoucí Semináře raně novověkých dějin Ústavu českých dějin Filozofické fakulty Univerzity Karlovy. Zabývá se dějinami raného novověku v evropském kontextu a historickou pamětí ve druhé polovině 20. století (marie.koldinska@sendme.cz).