All my life I have been in the position of a defender, I have never been attacking anyone
Antonín Kachlík was born in Rozdělov (now Kladno-Rozdělov) on February 26, 1923. He grew up in Malá Dobrá until 1931 when the whole family moved to Prague. He thus got a chance for between education at the trade academy in Prague-Karlín. During the war he was involved in illegal resistance activities and he was distributing leftist pamphlets. He graduated in 1942, and since he did not manage to find a job, he had to report for conscripted labour in Germany on October 1, 1942. He worked as a member of a fire fighting squad in the Ruhr Valley, where the Allies were conducting devastating air raids. He took part in salvaging the cathedral in Cologne. Antonín used his permission for a leave as an opportunity to escape. Until the end of the war he lived in Prague with false documents and he continued with illegal resistance activities. At that time he also became a member of the Communist Party. After the war he studied the College of Political and Social Sciences. In 1946 he applied for studies at the Film Academy (FAMU) and he left the College. He graduated from FAMU in 1950, and since it was not possible for him to start working in the State Film Company in Barrandov, he went to Zlín to work as a dramaturgist in the Workers’ Theatre there. While in Zlín, he authored numerous new texts in the social realism style. In 1952-1954 he did his basic military service. At that time he also married actress Kvěra Houdlová. It took him longer time before he was able to start making films. At first he began working as an assistant director and he worked alongside directors Josef Mach and Bořivoj Zeman. His debut came in 1961 with a film based on his own screenplay which was called The June Days. This was followed by his own film There Were Ten of Us. He also published both of these screenplays as books. Antonín Kachlík is also the director of the well-acclaimed film I, the Mournful God from 1969 based on the story by Milan Kundera, which later became banned. During the normalization era he directed a biographical film about the communist leader Klement Gottwald called The Twenty-Ninth, for which he is still being criticised even today. Since that time his name has been also registered in the list of collaborators with the StB State Police. After 1988 Kachlík no longer worked as a film director. In 1971-1992 he was teaching at FAMU. He wrote and published a total of five books, the last one in 2003. This was the never-filmed screenplay How Schweik Was Born and How Hašek Died, which is based on a hypothesis that Jaroslav Hašek was poisoned in Lipnice by members of the Russian White Army.