Interview with Peter Bebjak (Director)
You have directed several successful television series, especially of the detective genre, how did that style influence The Informant?
Every story is good when it has secrets and tension, this is true in both the fairy tale and the detective story. In short, for every interesting story.
What is your relationship with the 1950s in the country? Do you have someone in your family with whom you discussed this topic?
Since I was a child who grew up in communism, it was hard to believe the propaganda, the enthusiasm and zeal that the young communists had in them. In my opinion, it was an era of pretense, fear and lies.
Why do you think it makes sense to go back to this time? What makes the topic timeless?
Each era has its things and people who use those tales to their advantage. Opportunists, conformists will always be everywhere. Most of the time, they don't mind if the regime changes, they can adapt immediately and survive.
In recent years, many period films or miniseries have been made. How do you think directors can balance fiction and reality?
It is important not to forget. These films give us a chance to remember and to avoid the mistakes we once made. If the stories are built on real foundations, the viewer will believe them.
How was your preparation for the filming?
I always need information, but I try to make the stories that have a historical basis understandable to the viewer in modern days.
The main character has several contradictions and it is quite a complicated character - how did you work with Jan Cina for his role?
Jan is an intelligent and very receptive actor. We didn't want to play his character as a hero from the fifties, but as someone who could be understood by the modern man so everyone really understands his motivation.
What is the strongest message for you in this series?
Playing a fake game in life doesn't pay off.
Have you encountered a similarly human character in real life, as depicted in The Informant?
I may have met them often. We don't know about them because their "advantage" is absolute adaptability.
This is your next Czech-Slovak co-production. In your opinion, what are the differences in the approach to television and film production?
Today, television projects are comparable in quality to film projects even in our region. Even during the quarantine period, it became fully apparent how fragile and unstable the "cinema world" is. That is why quality in production is very important.
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