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 exceptional intelligence found himself at a cross roads. In René – The Prisoner of Freedom, we follow René’s life at a fast pace from the film’s premiere to the present, as he tries to avoid prison at all costs. He gets involved in relationships that have a chance to last longer than a few weeks. But how does this coincide with his scathing contempt for people and the system? During the thirteen years that Helena Třeštíková has been watching the hero, René has changed not only physically but also mentally. Can we say that at the age of fifty, he will mature?
Dir. Helena Třeštíková - 102min - 2021 - Czech Republic
"His personal motto tattooed on his neck: “Fuck Of People” [sic] seems to be fading as he grows older and more friendly. René gradually starts finding his way in a more socially approved way of life—and even in love. " - IDFA
"René: The Prisoner of Freedom is another long-term project which charts not just the dehumanising cycle of incarceration, but also the trappings of accidental fame." - Guardian
"A complex portrait and sensitive long-term observation" - DOK Fest Munchen