A Parallel

It's 1969. A 20-year-old Czech student is defying the current regime in Czechoslovakia occupied by Soviet Union. He faces a freakish world where students are educated by workers and intelligence is meant to be exterminated. The student's youthful rebellious nature leads him to committing a horrifying act which changes the nation once and for all.
This story is a fictional dream of Jan Palach, a Czech student, who burnt himself alive in a town square in Prague to protest against the current regime in occupied Czechoslovakia in 1969.
In this grotesque story, we can watch Jan Palach's fight against the ruling workers and their intention to exterminate intelligence. Jan is broken and exhausted, but still not too tired for revolution. His dream is full of symbolism of dominating communists, dying intelligence or oppression of human identity. To emphasize the anonymity, all characters pay no attention to Palach and have no names. Surroundings are exaggerated ad absurdum and unreal. The boundaries of dream and reality are erased and the world is lacking of logical patterns.
Palach's nightmare is a parallel to the horror he has to live in in his real life. It reveals symbols and motives which might have led him to the terrible act of burning himself alive and starting an imaginary club, in that time called "Living Torches". Jan Palach's name is not mentioned in the story on purpose but an attentive reader can reveal many hints about our hero's identity (his surname can be heard in the classroom, Alsovo namesti square has been renamed as Palach namesti square after his death, the date of Palach's self-burning can be seen in a calendar).
Palach is trying to internally cope with the fact that his nation has been betrayed and no help from other countries can be expected. Living in this pent, captive country, he believes there is no escape, since someone makes something patriotic and shocking at the same time.

  • Alena Cadova
  • Project Type:
    Student, Short Script
  • Genres:
    Horror, History, Suspense
  • Number of Pages:
  • Country of Origin:
    Czech Republic
  • Language:
  • First-time Screenwriter:
  • Student Project:
  • Avanti Screenplay Competition
    Brighton, UK
    December 30, 2015
    Finalist (TOP 6)
  • TMFF - The Monthly Film Festival
    April 30, 2017
    Best Short Screenplay - Runner Up
  • The Golden Script Competition
    May 9, 2017
    Best Short Screenplay - Semi-Finalist
Writer Biography - Alena Cadova

Alena wrote her first short story at the age of seven. Since her childhood, she showed her desire of being creative. She dreamt of becoming a writer, artist or a composer.
During the last two years, Alena participated in film or script festivals in which she succeeded many times. In 2016, she won the award for Best 3- minute Screenplay in New Rennaisance London Film Festival. In 2017, she won the golden award for The Best Short Screenplay in New York Screenplay Contest.
Alena calls herself a civil and an artist in one body; both a pragmatist and an escapist. She considers the creative process to be a basic aspect of her being which gives meaning to her life.

Add Writer Biography