As Czechs Debate Their Political Future, Vaclav Havel Returns to Center Stage

A portrait of Vaclav Havel next to candles at Wenceslas square in Prague, Czech Republic, Dec. 21, 2011 (AP photo by Marko Drobnjakovic).
A portrait of Vaclav Havel next to candles at Wenceslas square in Prague, Czech Republic, Dec. 21, 2011 (AP photo by Marko Drobnjakovic).
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PRAGUE—A recently released biopic about the life of Vaclav Havel, the famed anti-communist dissident who became the Czech Republic’s first president, wasn’t well-received by local critics. The overwhelming consensus was that “Havel” simplifies history and focuses too much on its subject’s personal foibles, chiefly his notorious womanizing. Such criticisms aside, the film couldn’t have arrived in cinemas at a more fitting time. A revival of Havel’s legacy is underway among the Czech political class, as a signpost for what the country’s political ideals should be and why they have gone astray. When the president of the Senate, Milos Vystrcil, who […]

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