Beyond Diplomacy
Before release

Diplomacy often constitutes the hidden fabric of connections between different states and cultures; its art and nature become most apparent where there are the greatest differences among partners. The first document from the intended series, subtitled “African Stability and Security,” unexpectedly evolved into a time-lapse film, capturing the span of a decade of Czech and European engagement in Mali from its inception to the complete withdrawal of both military and diplomatic missions. Geopolitical circumstances can be unpredictable, and in this environment, dramatic moments and complexities of interactions emerge all the more.

The main protagonists of the documentary include its co-author, Cyril Svoboda, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and an expert in international relations; Robert Kopecký, founder and head of the diplomatic mission in Bamako, featured in a situational film. Various personalities from diplomacy and the military play roles in the documentary, including Special Envoy for the Sahel, Tomáš Uličný; Commander of the EU mission logistics in Mali, Tomáš Fedor; Base Commander in Koulikoro, Yacouba Z. Traoré; EU Ambassador Bart Ouvry; founder of an orphanage in Bamako, Mama Bibi; French Ambassador in Mali, Joël Meyer; US Ambassador Dennis B. Hankins; one of the main authorities on Islam in Mali, Imam Mahmoud Dicko; Archbishop of Bamako, Jean Zerbo; and others.

Image: Beyond Diplomacy
  • CZ/SK, 2024, 52 mins
  • Written by Cyril Svoboda, Vít Janeček, Zuzana Piussi
  • Directed by Zuzana Piussi and Vít Janeček
  • Sound: Jan Richtr
  • Consultant: Petr Pospíchal
  • Producer: Vít Janeček – D1film (CZ), VIRUSfilm (SK), Lenka Poláková – Czech TV (CZ), Ondrej Starinský – Slovak Radio and TV (SK)