Pavel Dias

* 1938  †︎ 2021

  • “Barrandov shoots films on Baťa. They were based on two novels by such a communist idiot. They were called Shoe-Machine and Without a Boss. They were shot there. At the same time, there were interesting festivals of workers in the natural cinema in Zlín, I went there with the old man. This was nice. And when the bolshevik films premiered, I had a very nice experience. They introduced them and no one applauded. And there were two three thousand people. No one applauded. Only a few idiots in the first line.”

  • “It was for this anniversary that my mother bought three-phase current and a large fridge to produce ice-cream. We took ice from Moravia, from a warehouse, where it was delivered by ice-men. So she improved her shop, but we didn’t sell any ice-cream really, because February and the communists came. They did not exactly took it away from us, but they made it impossible for my mum to make business. To be fair, the political change was not the only thing to blame. Larger confectioners were not interested in having competition and they made it difficult for my mum. Suddenly she saw she would not make it. So she closed down her shop.”

  • “I also know that when the front came, they not only blew the bridge but also the castle tower was on fire. There was a German garrison, many soldiers. When it looked that the Germans were done, people went there, looting. I was at home but then I got there. My mother didn’t know about it. I also looted. I stole a phone from the table, it even didn’t have a dial. I brought it home and hid it. My mother brought some rifles. I don’t know why, but they stood in the corridor and were not there in the morning. But the Germans returned two days later and said they would search the houses. The rifles were not there but I was worried about the phone under my bed.”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Praha, 09.03.2018

    duration: 05:22:32
  • 2

    Praha, 30.04.2018

    duration: 01:36:00
  • 3

    Praha, 29.06.2018

    duration: 02:03:00
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I could breathe only after 1989 — finally

Portrét 1, rok 2018
Portrét 1, rok 2018
photo: autoři natáčení

Pavel Dias was born on December 9, 1938, in Brno. His father did not acknowledge him, he was raised by his mother. During his childhood he often stayed with his mother’s relatives in Brankovice, South Moravia. They were engaged in anti-Nazi resistance during the Protectorate. His mother ran a confectionary’s shop in Kroměříž. After the communist coup in 1948, however, she had to close down her shop and worked as a shop assistant. Pavel Dias went to study at the Secondary Film School in Brno in 1954. He already worked for the Film Studio in Zlín and participated on the production of Karel Zeman’s film The Invention of Destruction. He became interested in everything that concerned photography and film. Since 1959 he served as a photographer for the journal Mladý svět and other journals. The main topic of his work was to document places of former concentration camps, but he also focused on the world of horse racing and everyday life. He studied the Film Academy, served as the department head of photography at the Secondary Industrial School in Brno. In 1989 he went to teach photography at the Film Academy, later at the Tomáš Baťa University in Zlín. He was awarded the medal A Distinguished Person of Photography for his lifelong contribution. The medal was awarded by the Association of Czech Photographers. Pavel Dias died in 19 April 2021.