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Armata, Jerzy

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Gazeta Wyborcza - Poland | 29/11/2007

Jan Svěrák on Czech humour

A grand retrospective of the work of Czech director Jan Svěrák is currently on show in Poland. In an interview with Jerzy Armata and Małgorzata Niemczyńska, Svěrák explains why comedy and tragedy are interwoven in his works: "We Czechs are in the middle of Europe. We are a small nation and under pressure from all sides. We are under attack from the East and from the West. If we tried to defend ourselves like the Poles do, we would no longer exist. ... We are often caught up in situations in which all you can do is laugh. This is our way of defending ourselves. This is where our traditional black humour comes from. ... I deliberately make my films in cinema format so they won't be shown on television. I want people to go to the movies. We live in a community and should watch films together."

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