Series / Burning Bush

Burning Bush (Czech: Hořící keř) is a 2013 three-part miniseries directed by Agnieszka Holland. It is based on true events; namely, the self-immolation of Jan Palach in 1969 and the aftermath of this act. The plot of the series is centred mainly around Dagmar Burešová, the lawyer who represented Palach's family in a trial against the Communist government for defamation of character after representatives of the government had attempted to discredit him in the eyes of the public.

This series provides examples of:

  • Artistic Licence History:
    • Ondřej Trávníček is not an actual historical figure, but a Composite Character representing several real people at once.
    • In the series, there is a female student named Hana Čížková who at one point visits Jan Palach in hospital and is later made to read out a fake message written in Palach's name, saying that no one should repeat his action. In reality, there was a female student who visited him in hospital, but her name was Eva Bednáríková, and a message very similar to the one in the series was read out in public, but it was Lubomír Holeček, the leader of the students' movement, who read it, and to this day it remains unknown whether the message was fake or authentic.
  • Based on a True Story
  • Determinator: Dagmar Burešová agrees to represent Jan Palach's family, even though pretty much everyone around her tries to dissuade her from doing so, and she sticks to her decision regardless of the trouble it causes her.
  • Downer Beginning: Episode 1 opens with a title card detailing the none-too-pleasant situation in Czechoslovakia after the end of the Prague Spring, followed by a graphic depiction of a self-immolation.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Of course, considering that it's based on history.
  • Man on Fire/Self-Immolation: Part of the premise.
  • Police Brutality: Against anti-government protesters.
  • Starts with a Suicide: The series starts with a self-immolation.