Emil’s Dilemma

23. září 2023

The four-time Olympic winner, eighteen-time world record holder, with the nickname “the Czech locomotive” – Emil Zátopek. Everyone knows the legendary athlete, who at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952 won the 5 km and 10 km runs as well as the marathon, which he ran for the very first time in his life there. How did he find his way to running, what was his life like and how did his career end? The drama was broadcast on the centenary of the birth of Zátopek and his wife Dana.

“Life runs where it wants. If it ran just along a marked path, it’d be terribly boring,” says Emil Zátopek in Tomáš Dianiška’s play “Emil’s Dilemma” while sitting exhausted in a construction trailer and looking back at his colourful life. He reminisces about his job in a rubber factory, his reluctance to run, meeting athlete Jan Haluza, the Second World War, his marriage to javelin thrower Dana Ingrová, who was born on 19 September 1922, just like him, his running successes both at home and primarily abroad, his cooperation with the totalitarian regime…

 “The central plotline is the lawsuit against the Communist MP Vilém Nový, which Zátopek and others filed because of a false accusation related to Jan Palach’s self-immolation. Nový claimed that they had incited Palach to commit the crime. Yet this is not a court drama. I tried to create a lively comedy containing all the important moments in Zátopek’s life,” says Tomáš Dianiška, the author and director of the radio play. “Narrating a story in a non-linear way is a tried and tested Hollywood method often used in biographical films. Zátopek lives alone, he is reminiscing about the times of his glory and trying to decide how to act in court,” says Dianiška, who cast Robert Mikluš in the lead role. His wife Dana was played by Tereza Dočkalová, Pavel Zedníček is cast as the shoemaker, Václav Neužil as the communist functionary, Miroslav Hanuš as president Gottwald.

Using fast cuts and alternating humour and seriousness, kitsch and sentiment, sensitivity and boldness, Dianiška created an entertaining radio play for the listener to enjoy. All of the scenes in which Zátopek runs or practices were recorded outdoors, right on the athletic field: this makes the breathing, footsteps and running sound very natural. The sound design is also complemented by authentic announcements by sports commentators and news reporters.

Listen to the Drama at the Prix Bohemia Radio festival!

When: Wednesday 18th October 2023 | 09:30 – 10:30
Where: Film hall, Arts Centre UP
Entrance: Free admission with accreditation

Join us in going green! Download the scripts of drama into your mobile device and be paperless.

Look at the detailed program of the listening session.

Cast: Emil (Robert Mikluš), Dana (Tereza Dočkalová), Zdenka (Veronika Lazorčáková), Funkcionář (Václav Neužil), Generál (Hanuš Bor), Dělník + Hlas v amplionu (Jakub Albrecht), Gottwald (Miroslav Hanuš), Haluza (Filip Kaňkovský), Mistr (Pavel Zedníček), Jungwirth (Adam Vacula), Doktorka (Ivana Wojtylová), Vědkyně (Kateřina Císařová), Nový (Luboš Veselý), Soudkyně + Oddávající (Dita Kaplanová), Letuška + Reportérka (Barbora Váchová), Malý chlapec (Jakub Král), STBák (Denny Ratajský), STBák + Muž z publika (Jan Hušek), Fotbalista + Voják + Reportér (Daniel Krečmar), Fotbalista + Reportér (Vojtěch Hrabák), Spolubydlící (Jaroslav Blažek), Kamarád + Fotograf (Vendelín Urban), Rozhlasový reportér + Sportovec v letadle (Jiří Panzner), Fotograf (Šimon Krupa) a Slovenský reportér (Tomáš Dianiška)
Dramaturgy: Lenka Veverková
Director: Tomáš Dianiška
Sound design: Tomáš Pernický
Premiere: 20. 9. 2022

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