The Death of Stalinism in Bohemia

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The Death of Stalinism in Bohemia
Directed by Jan Svankmajer
Produced by Keith Griffiths
Michael Havas
Jaromír Kallista
Written by Jan Svankmajer
Cinematography Svatopluk Malý
Edited by Marie Zemanová
Distributed by First Run Features (USA) (theatrical)
Release date
  • 13 February 1991 (1991-02-13) (USA)
Running time
10 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The Death of Stalinism in Bohemia is a 1990 animated independent short film. The style of the film is surrealist, and the director Jan Švankmajer has been described by The New York Times as being "One of cinema's most visionary surrealists".

The film's original title is: Konec stalinismu v Čechách. The film is also known as Der Tod des Stalinismus in Böhmen in Germany, Konec stalinismu v Čechách in the Czech Republic, and Koniec stalinizmu w Czechach in Poland (according to the imdb listing)


Stalin's bust is opened on an operating table, and this leads into an animated sequence which depicts Czech history from 1948, when it was taken over by Communists, to 1989, when the Velvet Revolution took place. Background knowledge of the historical context is required for one to fully understand and appreciate the entirely visual film.


The website Mubi gives the film a rating of four stars.[1]

Janet Maslin of The New York Times describes the film as being a "wonderfully apt short", and describes the plot of "rush[ing] a statue of Stalin through drastic surgery, cranks out clay workers on an assembly line only to grind them back into clay" is "droll, breakneck satire".[2]


The film won a Golden Bear at the 1990 Berlin International Film Festival.


The exact date of the film's initial release in the UK is unknown. The film was also shown at the 2006 Berlin International Short Film Festival, the 2008 Cottbus Film Festival and the One World Film Festival in 2009.


  1. ^ "The Death of Stalinism in Bohemia". MUBI. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  2. ^ Maslin, Janet (13 February 1991). "Long-Repressed Tale of Repression". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 

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