The story of the intended feature film The Word (Slovo; originally His Word, Her Word)
depicts the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Václav Vojíř and Věra Vojířová, their family and their immediate surroundings between the summer of 1968 and the summer of 1969.
Václav and Věra are people who differ in temperament, intellect and emotionality, but still, or just because of that, they are a married couple, they do not abandon one another and they go through life situations together. In all the ambivalence that the coexistence of two prominent personalities, tried by family and social attacks, brings. Václav Vojíř works as a state notary in a smaller district town, and he has never been a member of the Communist Party. His moral (and therefore political) beliefs are unbreakable, he would never join the Communist Party. Thus, Václav lives with anxiety from the pressure that the Communists are constantly putting on him, and with fear for himself and his family. However, the word he has given himself and which he keeps is a matter of a basic life attitude for him.
Věra Vojířová is a woman for whom the family is the main value and who is willing and able to do everything for it. Věra is also not a member of the Communist Party. Věra considers the basic structure of her life to be her word given to Václav, to her family. Although Věra is rather a practical, earthy person, and to a certain extent the opposite of Václav’s life adaptation, she, just as he, considers the moment she gives her word to someone as an irreversible moment with which her very existence stands and falls.
Through intensive insights into several moments from their lives between the spring of 1968 and the summer of 1969, I try to capture the situation and attitudes of Václav, Věra and their marriage in the most accurate, everyday, intimate and detailed portrayal. Though their life is going through an important storyline storywise (from portraying the basic situation, through the seaside vacation, the 1968 occupation, Václav’s nervous breakdown and stay at a psychiatric ward, Věra’s concern for him and their family at this time, Václav’s return home and to work, another refusal to join
the Communist Party, which will result in them having to move to the countryside), it is not the primary challenge for me to tell this story.
The primary challenge for me is to portray the individual moments from that period as precisely as possible, and to achieve that everyday intensity will meet with some inevitable fatefulness of a person, which does not appear as the initial intention, but all the more present it eventually is.
I believe that The Word depicts both the personal situations of specific people and one of the burning existential problems of the past, which seems to be more than current in the present – the threat to human freedom – personal, social.
My wish is that The Word, although it is based on a period from the past, was a humanly contemporary story. A story that asks the viewers basic questions concerning them which are the same at any period of time and makes them think about their own, often just minor, decisions (of a partner, family, professional kind) of which morale is composed equally as defeat is.