About this project
Out of the utter waste and absurdity of the First World War, Jaroslav Hasek created Schwejk, a much loved character with his very own, unexpected and enduring ways of anti-war protest.
For nearly a hundred years, Schwejk has made people laugh – and think, and inspired playwrights and film makers such as Piscator, Joan Littlewood and Bertolt Brecht. Even Chaplin planned an adaptation of Schwejk. As long as war remains a favourite option to resolve mankind's conflicts, The Good Soldier Schwejk will have to turn up again and again. Sands Films' studio is his next stop.
This new, independent film adaptation is written and directed by Christine Edzard. The music is written by Michel Sanvoisin. Sands Films is best known for its award winning “Little Dorrit”. Michel Sanvoisin has had a long and prolific career in early music. In this case he will be doing something completely new and different. The music budget is only part of the cost of the film but an important one.
We invite as many people as possible to get involved, contribute to the music budget and, above all, join us in actively voicing our opposition to war. Give towards the music budget, and as much as possible towards promotion and advertising. Talk; tweet ; promote; shout about it … We regard our project as a form of protest and your involvement as a form of activism.
~MORE ABOUT THE FILM~
Christine Edzard will present a contemporary ‘take’ on Hašek’s original in an unconventional, rule-breaking adaptation. Her Schwejk will be filmed from curtain up to curtain down as performed in Cabaret style, over the course of a week in the intimate wooden theatre at Sands Studios in Rotherhithe. The compression of Hažek's sprawling novel into cabaret form will add bite and contemporary relevance to the satire. The Cabaret form also reflects the background of Schwejk’s original creator - Jaroslav Hašek was a frequent performer of politically engaged cabaret in Prague. A small cast will take on multiple roles, and there will be live music and (partially scripted) audience participation. Editing will take place after the shoot in the normal way.
Edzard’s new adaptation also has an unexpected take on its hero. It distances itself from the cosy, rotund middle aged man of Josef Lada's illustrations (which Hažek never saw) and reconnects with the original inspiration for the novel – Františec Straslipka - a very young man, seemingly innocent, sweetly provocative.
“Schwejk is an anti-war protest. It’s about the irrationality, the bungling and the ridiculous cock-ups; It is about the criminal absurdity of war,”
Risks and challenges
The film is going ahead though, as usual with the film industry, there can be delays. The rewards that we are offering in return for pledges are mostly made here at Sands Films, and only an 'act of God' would prevent us delivering.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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