Jan Culiks book analyses the value system constructed by Czech feature films produced since the fall of communism in 1989. It provides an overview of some three hundred Czech feature films made during this period. Over fourteen chapters, the book shows how Czech film makers have dealt with the legacy of communism and other traumatic past experiences, and how they have borne witness to recent political and social developments in the Czech Republic. In Culiks view, Czech feature film constructs an image of society which is still heavily influenced by the so-called "normalisation" regime of the 1970s and 1980s, which was created in Czechoslovakia after the 1968 Soviet invasion. Czech feature films bear witness to a society which suffers from fairly weak social and political structures. Many Czech films highlight the subordinate position of women in Czech society and project an image of impractical, inefficient, and aggressive men. In discussing the films, Culik uses the methodology of Cultural Studies, in which art is seen primarily as a specific kind of social communication within a certain cultural and historical context.
Jan Culik is Senior Lecturer in Czech Studies at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. He conducts research into social self-examination and myth-making in Central Europe, using literature, cinema and television as material culture.