A documentary collage that navigates through propaganda films, personal videos and found footage of the biggest mass gymnastic displays in history - the Spartakiads in communist Czechoslovakia

If you were born in communist Czechoslovakia, it was very likely that you practiced for the so-called Spartakiads. For decades, millions of people of all ages regularly performed in these mass gymnastic displays that took place in Prague, in the world’s biggest stadium.
Taking their inspiration from the Czech people’s traditional interest in mass gymnastic exercise, the Spartakiads established themselves as a potent symbolism of communism. But, as they headed towards their final decade in the 1980s, they had become not only a strange megalomanic phenomenon, popular with the majority of citizens, but also the subject of a fascinating national power game.
The film
explores how the complex nuances of life under an authoritarian regime were reflected in these unique choreographic events. Ultimately We Love Life is a cinematic inquiry into the relationship between the state and the human body.

This is a documentary musical that approaches a complex piece of history with the speed of light. Only by doing this can all corners be reached. The phenomenon is the Spartakiads, a mass gymnastics event that took place from the end of World War 2 until the Velvet Revolution, with thousands of bodies synchronized in Prague’s Strahov Stadium every five years. Can the state be embodied through choreography? With an archive that goes between the official to the domestic, we enter an event that represented the certainties and confusions of its time in every edition. (Lucía Salas, Viennale 2022)

b&w, colour
sound 5.1
29 min


Co-funded by the Creative Europe MEDIA Programme of the European Union


Buenos Aires Int. Festival of Independent Cinema
Best Avant-Garde and Genre Film Nominee
Argentina 2022

Special Mention of the Jury Award
Spain 2022

Frontdoc International Documentary Festival
Best Mid-Length Documentary Award
Italy 2022

IBAFF International Film Festival
Special Mention of the Jury Award
Spain 2022

Black Canvas International Film Festival
The State of the World Programme
Mexico 2022

Vienna International Film Festival
The Ordinary Devotions Programme
Austria 2022

Cork International Film Festival
Ireland 2022