- Summaries (1)
Six months after Soviet block tanks crushed the Prague Spring (popular uprising against Stalinism), the occupation of Czechoslovakia seems without prospect. History student Jan Palach torches himself on a Prague square, incurring ultimately fatal burns, and leaves a message that he's only the first of series of 'torches' unless demands are met, calling for a massive protest and relaxation of oppression. Regular Czech student leader Ondrej Trávnícek tries to find out what happened to recuperate them. The national party is determined to handle the matter itself, fearing the Soviets may take over government completely. Jan's elder brother Jiri and mother Libuse want to keep his message going. Jan's dorm mates however are forced to tell the military investigators about his girlfriend Dagmar Buresová, who is scared to read a fake message from him calling off further torchings and appealing for a settlement with a Czech chess master.
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