The Man Who Stood in the Way

The epic film by director Petr Nikolaev tells the story of the heroism and defiance of František Kriegel, a man who defied the Soviet empire and stood in its way.

Muž, který stál v cestě
Czechia, Ukraine, Lithuania 2023
  • Czech
  • English
120 min.
  • This film is available in the following territories: Czechia.

This fascinating and little-known story of the personal bravery of physician and politician František Kriegel captures the dramatic events of 21 August 1968 and what followed. At the end of the 1960s, a general liberation from the harshest communist tyranny was taking place in our country. One of the faces of the so-called Prague Spring is the hero of the Spanish Civil War, František Kriegel. But the promise of better times is destroyed overnight by the invasion of Czechoslovakia by Russian tanks. The hunt for the enemy begins. Kriegel is kidnapped along with other political leaders all the way to Moscow. In captivity, they are then subjected to intense pressure and threats, and are forced to sign the Moscow Protocol, which signifies consent to the military occupation of the country. Every single one of them must sign. Kriegel must decide between his own safety and personal gain and a firm moral stand. He is the only one who will not give in, despite the threat of liquidation, despite the danger of liquidation of his loved ones, he will defy the Russian dictate and Brezhnev himself. He finds himself alone in the middle of the Soviet Union, from which many have never returned.

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Director: Petr Nikolaev
Screenplay: Ivan Fíla
Cinematography: Ramūnas Greičius
Music: Michal Novinski
Sound: Jiří Klenka
Editing: Michal Hýka
Production Design: Jan Vlček
Producer: Miloslav Šmídmajer, Pavel Šmídmajer
Co-production: Volodymyr Filippov, Andriy Suyarko, Alla Ovsiannikova, Kestutis Drazdauskas
Costumes: Andrea Králová
Cast: Tomáš Töpfer, Zuzana Mauréry, Adrian Jastraban, Alois Švehlík, Jiří Ployhar, Daniel Heriban, Přemysl Bureš, Miroslav Táborský, Zuzana Kajnarová, Alexander Ignatusha, Sergiy Kucherenko, Roman Zahyrov, Ivan Shvedoff
  • This film is available in the following territories: Czechia.