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Helena Třeštíková: A Moment in Time-Lapse

Helena Třeštíková: A Moment in Time-Lapse

"Every life is interesting enough to produce a story" - Helena Třeštíková

We're excited to present this collection 'A Moment in Time-Lapse', dedicated to the work of Czech filmmaker Helena Třeštíková, who has spent over 40 years making what she calls 'time-lapse documentaries', a long-form, longitudinal form of filmmaking, which often sees Třeštíková spending many years with those she films.

Třeštíková describes that "the purpose of a time-lapse film is to offer the audience an expanded experience of the world and to offer the protagonists such an interpretation of their lives, which they could accept as their true life stories."

All of Helena's films are made in the Czech Republic, chronicling ordinary lives, capturing their extraordinary moments.

"Třeštíková’s stamina for long-term observational studies is something else. Over the last four decades, she has made more than 30 time-lapse documentaries...Because Třeštíková pays attention for long enough, her films yield drama from what might otherwise appear to be the most ordinary of life stories." - Guardian, read the full interview with Třeštíková here:

This collection includes 'Marriage Stories', a series begun for Czech TV in 1987, following 6 married couples over a period of 30 years, whose lives are no less tumultuous than the rapidly changing country around them. 'Private Universe' follows an ordinary family, as socialist Czechoslovakia gradually transforms into the Czech Republic, and in 'Mallory' a mother desperately tries to kick her drug habit, following the birth of her son. The collection also includes Třeštíková's latest film 'Rene - Prisoner of Freedom', the follow up to 'René', chronicling the life of their eponymous subject, forever trying to escape the clutches of the prison system.

Helena Třeštíková: A Moment in Time-Lapse
  • The Miracle


    Helena Trestikova's first film is this short graduation piece, in which the young director’s eye for detail brings an everyday miracle to life.

    Dir. Helena Třeštíková - 15min - 1975 - Czech Republic

    "the young director’s unique eye for detail and characteristic rapport with her subjects are alr...

  • Marriage Stories

    6 seasons

    Helena Třeštíková chose six couples getting married in the Old Town Hall, Prague, and followed them over the next 3 decades, to see how life turned out. They were different in character, dreams and ideas, yet they had many similarities. All of them were children of their time and conditions, so t...

  • Marcela


    The life of Marcela, an ordinary Czech woman is explored throughout several decades of her life. The documentary observes several important societal issues. We are engaged to struggle and fight back with Marcela as her tragic life unfolds before our eyes especially, dealing with her daughter’s un...

  • René


    A long-term documentary of raw authenticity recording the luckless fate of René, who styles himself in the role of a desperado, over a 20-year period as he yo-yos between prison and freedom against a backdrop of important political events occurring in the Czech Republic and beyond its borders.


  • Katka


    Helena Třeštíková’s film is a remarkable documentary tracing fourteen years in the life of a young junkie and her futile battle with drug addiction. Why did she start taking drugs? She claims she wanted to be different. The year is 1996 and 19-year-old Katka lives in the Sananim therapy community...

  • Private Universe
    Movie + 1 extra

    Private Universe

    Movie + 1 extra

    This compelling chronicle of an average family against the backdrop of Czech history is the result of collecting visual material and keeping diaries over a period of 37 years.

    Honza was born in 1974 into the cheerless era of socialism in Czechoslovakia. At that time, his parents Jana and Petr li...

  • Jakub Špalek - A Life with the Jasper


    This longitudinal documentary film was shot for over 23 years, observing the life of theatrical director Jakub Špalek. The First days of the shooting were during autumn 1989 when Jakub became one of the initiators of the Velvet Revolution. Jakub achieved his dream to open a theatre, and he is now...

  • Vojta Lavička: Up and Down


    With a sweeping Romany music soundtrack that grabs your heartstrings and never loosens its grip, Helena Trestíková’s intimate documentary about the troubled life of musician, activist and reporter Vojta Lavička unfolds over 16 years.

    Dir. Helena Třeštíková - 80min - 2013 - Czech Republic


  • Mallory
    Movie + 1 extra


    Movie + 1 extra

    Life hasn’t been easy on Mallory, but after the birth of her son she tries desperately to kick her drug habit, and to stop living on the street. She wants to turn her back on her dark past and help those she knows best – people on the fringes of society.

    In her latest long-term documentary, Hel...

  • A Marriage Story
    Movie + 1 extra

    A Marriage Story

    Movie + 1 extra

    Many things can happen in 35 years of marriage: from moments of absolute harmony to dramatic fights. But during most of the time, this couple takes care of the day-to-day while they raise their kids, look after their home or work at their furniture shop.

    Dir. Helena Třestíková - 102min - 2017 - ...

  • Anny



    For sixteen years Helena Třeštíková followed Anny, who at the age of 46 took up sex work alongside her job as a restroom attendant, to make Christmas happier for her grandchildren. Always a smile, always a cigarette. In just one hour, we watch her life slip by. She is searching for love, defying ...

  • René: The Prisoner of Freedom


    Documentary filmmaker Helena Třeštíková met René during communism in a juvenile prison. To make the film René (2008), which won the European Film Academy Award for Best Documentary, she watched him with a camera for twenty years.

    Thanks to the successful film portrait, a prisoner with exce...