1989: From the diary of Ivana A.

  • 1989: Z deníku Ivany A.
  • Karel Strachota
  • Česká republika
  • 2014
  • 42 min.
  • titulky
  • 12—21 let
Audio-visual lessons

Lesson objectives

  1. To get acquainted with the events related to the Velvet Revolution
  2. To look at the events of 1989 in Czechoslovakia through the eyes of a high school girl
  3. To learn about the events of the last year of communist Czechoslovakia

The subject of the film is the authentic diary of 18-year old Ivana A., who uses the personable perspective of a high school student to reflect on a year of the existence of Communist Czechoslovakia. She contrasts her Graduation ball with the events of the Week of Palach, annoying Mayday celebrations and memories of Soviet reality for her approaching graduation with her first trip to the “West”, the joyous experiences of her last school holidays with her entry to an unappealing employment of grey future life outlook.

This film by Karel Strachota is a synthesis of actual diary entries, sequences from news and publicity programs, samples from the press of the day, private documents, letters, and photographs. This original film account of a time 25 years ago, enhances with animation and distinctive music will find an audience primarily with younger generations.


Tato lekce je k dispozici i v české verzi.

Teaching materials

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Back then: 1989

Activity / 45 mins

Students will: 

  • Realize that 1989 was not just November 17
  • Derive the causes, consequences and context of a historical event

Questions and Answers

Informational texts

  • Palach week 
  • A Few Sentences petition
  • Charter 77
  • Travelling before 1989
  • Velvet Revolution
  • Civic Forum 

UPDATED: How to reflect on emotions after the film screening

Informational texts

  • Why is it important to reflect on emotions?
  • Basic methods of reflection
  • From reflection to discussion

Jak pracovat s audiovizuálními materiály

  • instruktážní film
  • rady a doporučení
  • manuál
  • obecné aktivity

Teaching with documentaries: Methodological handbook

Handbook containing a collection of comprehensive activities designed for teaching with documentaries, along with the OWIS theoretical framework for English lessons.

English activities for teaching with documentaries

Informational texts

A set of activities generally applicable to working with film in English classes

Accompanying and recommended materials

Vaclav Havel's New Year's Address

New Year's Address to the Nation 1990

Palachův týden 1989 (2 min.)

Zpravodajské záběry z lednových demonstrací

Velvet Revolution posters

Posters of the Velvet Revolution from Filip Blazek's book

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