I hated the communists from the moment they arrested my father
Oldřich Řičánek was born on 19 January 1936 in Holešov in the Zlín region into the family of a hotelier Josef Řičánek and Marie Řičánková, née Oškerová. His father ran a thriving business at Sokolský dům, where the family also lived, and during World War II he became a supporter of the Resistance. In 1949, his father lost his trade and in a trial with other self-employed businessmen was sentenced to two years in prison, which he spent in the uranium camps in the Jáchymov region. Oldřich and his brother Vlastimil were not allowed to study as a result of their father’s persecution. Nevertheless, both of them eventually established themselves (sometimes only for a time) in fields that interested and satisfied them. Thanks to his membership in the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, his brother became an editor of the Czech Radio Brno and Oldřich found a job as a lab technician in the film studios in Kudlov near Zlín. Film strips of footage of Hanzelka and Zikmund or Karel Zeman’s Journey to the Beginning of Time passed through his hands, and later he got a job as a camera assistant. In this way, he worked on The Fabulous Baron Munchausen and Invention for Destruction, or the children’s films by directors Josef Pinkava and Zdenek Sirový. He has been a photographer all his life and, in addition to snapshots from filming, he also documented the events of August 1968 in the then Gottwaldov. In 1969, he travelled to Stockholm for the World Hockey Championship and managed to record the most important moments of the legendary match between the Czechoslovakia and the USSR. At the end of the 1990s, he gave the unique recording to sports editor Robert Záruba. After leaving the film studios and starting a family, he worked in various jobs until the revolution, and for a time he worked in the associated production of the Hvozdná collective farm near Slušovice. In 2022 he lived in Zlín.