Jan Švankmajer’s ‘The Death of Stalinism in Bohemia’ and the art of Surrealist Satire|Shantanu Singh

The film begins with the noise of falling buildings and bullets being fired. The following scene features the rush of events from 1945 to the Communist takeover in 1948. The moment of the takeover is represented by a surgical incision of Stalin’s head (which is basically a bust) under surgical lights. From the bust, the surgeon delivers the bust of Klement Gottwald. Gottwald was ordered by Stalin to set up a Communist regime that would assist the Communists to come to power in Eastern Europe. The surgeon then slaps Gottwald’s baby-bust on the back which makes it cry. The baby-bust then proceeds to deliver a speech in the voice of Stalin.

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| Stronger the issues, more powerful the catharsis.