At the time, I failed to mention the film, called simply Jan Palach, directed by Robert Sedláček. It premiered last August 5 at the Uherské Hradiště Summer Film School, and was released in Czech cinemas on August 21, the anniversary of the invasion. It covers the title character’s life, including scenes from childhood, but mostly the time from the invasion until his death. Curiously, he took part in student work trips to Kazakhstan and Leningrad, and another to Paris in October 1968, after the invasion, something I just learned. Witnessing student protests in Paris led him to more radical actions, and upon returning to Czechoslovakia he marched in several demonstrations against Soviet occupation.
Since that January post, I've also learned that Charles University, which Palach had begun attending the previous autumn, unveiled a plaque/tile in his honor on the anniversary. It lies in the courtyard of the Carolinum, where thousands filed by his coffin in 1969. (Please see photos in the slideshow above.)
I also recently discovered vintage pics of events concerning Palach from the French magazine Paris Match. I’m reposting one of those pics, as well as providing links to video on the recent commemorations.
It has also come to my attention recently that Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Holland directed Burning Bush for HBO, but it has been criticized for lacking realism, as in this Czech commentary for British Letters (in Czech only, sorry), calling the film “incredibly weak.” The opinion is seconded by Miroslav Prokeš, who worked closely with Palach in 1968-69.
FOR FURTHER READING/VIEWING
Here is a review and trailer for the 2018 film.
You can find footage of the memorial march in Prague on this page. (Trust me - if I could have embedded it, I would have.)
And it’s not just Prague Palach has been remembered widely, like this exhibit in Spain.
Another good Czech source of info and images is http://www.janpalach.cz/, compiled by students at Prague's Charles University. Also, see the university's article on its commemoration.
And here is the Paris Match article.