Plastic People of the Universe (2002)
Formed in 1968, following the Soviet invasion of their beloved Czechoslovakia, the rock band, 'The Plastic People of the Universe' were inspired by American music banned by the Communist dictators including The Velvet Underground, Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart and The Doors. During the 1970s and early 1980s, the Czechoslovakian government banned 'The Plastic People' from performing and the group conducted a series of clandestine engagements (including play dates in barns and weddings) in defiance of the government restrictions. The band and their fans endured endless and often violent harassment by Czechoslovakian police and the musicians were eventually imprisoned. Following the restoration of democracy in Prague, however, the group was hailed by the new Czech Republic government and by the international music scene for its remarkable courage in keeping the rock sound alive despite the pressures of Communist tyranny. … More
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Critic Reviews for Plastic People of the Universe
A fascinating account of repression, subversion, and rock music as revolutionary force.
An excellent chance to learn more about one of rock and roll's most significant bands and the struggle for freedom in the communist world.
The music in the film ... is secondary and insufficient, though I was moved by how much it meant in a nation's struggle for freedom.
Enough of the essence of the tale comes across to make for reasonably compelling viewing.
The band's courage in the face of official repression is inspiring, especially for aging hippies (this one included).
For all the lip service paid to rock-and-roll revolutionaries, few groups can match the sheer courage of The Plastic People of the Universe.
Here is a VH1 Behind the Music special that has something a little more special behind it: music that didn't sell many records but helped change a nation.
Twists are so bizarre, and the story so worth documenting, that it's easy to forget this film's shortcomings.
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