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“Golden Sting” tells the story of young Czechoslovaks who learn to play basketball. Submitted photos

Celebrated Czech filmmaker visits San Marcos for Texas film premiere

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Renowned Czech film director Radim Spacek visits San Marcos on Monday, April 15 for the Texas premiere of his new film “Golden Sting” – one of a handful of films comprising the lineup for this year’s Czech That Film series, visiting 20 cities in North America.

Sponsored by the San Marcos Cinema Club and local filmmaker Jeffrey Brown, “Golden Sting” tells the story of young Czechoslovaks who learn to play basketball from Americans at a YMCA camp in 1938 and follows their journey of ultimately winning the European Championship in Geneva against the outbreak of World War II and later the Communist Coup of 1948.

How did you come upon this story?

The story/screenplay was written by two sport journalists and big basketball fans Jakub Bazant and Jiri Zavozda. They wrote a book on the history of basketball in Czechoslovakia since the 1920s, told from memories of then famous players, and they thought it could also be a wonderful movie.

Why did it interest you?

I was quite reluctant from the beginning because I'm not really a sport person but then realized that basketball is only a means of telling a story about the dramatic Czechoslovak history of the 20th century. Two totalitarian regimes – Nazi and Communist – came there, and young boys full of energy and hope for their future had to deal with it.

Had you ever touched a basketball before shooting this film?

To be honest – never before! I didn't even know how to play and had never seen a game before. But once I agreed to make the film, I quickly got familiar with this noble sport and found out how many people around me love it. Try as I may, I still have not successfully shot a basket.

Have you ever been in Texas before? Any expectations? Big hair?

Yes, it will be my first visit in Texas, so I'm very curious how it differs from the rest of the US. Meeting cowboys is a must, I would also like to visit the place where JFK was shot and generally I'm interested in anything from rich

American history. I just hope that as a vegetarian I will not starve.

Spacek’s previous feature, “Walking Too Fast,” garnered eight Czech Academy Awards and played extensively on the international festival circuit. He will introduce this free screening at 7 p.m. at the Price Center in San Marcos with kolaches provided by Dos Gatos Kolache Bakery and Czech-style beer from Twisted X Breweing. Come one, come all!