It sounds like a crazy soap opera: Your son has a baby with your girlfriend, leaves you for her, and on top of that robs you of your own property, but everyone – including you – pretend that nothing actually happened, that you all basically love one another and that there just are a few kinks that they need to be ironed out. To do that, they still have some 50 or 60 episodes of this saga full of passion and emotions.

One of the episodes took place on Wednesday. Jan Saudek appeared in court in the role of a deceived father, Sára Saudková took on the role of a fatal woman and Samuel Saudek played the profligate son. Because after all, Saudek Sr has found it unfair that his beloved monkeys would all have the rights to his photographs at their disposal and pay him a mere 15% of sales revenues from all calendars, books, and so forth.

Jan Saudek failed. Sára and Samuel’s company Saudek.com allegedly does have contracts signed by Saudek, in which he consents to these strange conditions. The court did not care about his statement that Sára could have produced the signature on her own. (Those who have ever seen her handwriting, indistinguishable from that of her former partner, know what I’m talking about.)

It is, of course, a very bizarre story. The screenwriter, perhaps, had too vivid an imagination. Ordinary people can’t imagine entrusting their lifework to a person who had deceived them before. But Jan Saudek’s whole life looks rather like a fairy tale for adults than ordinary reality. Including all his physical and intellectual affectations, incessant complaining about his genius being unappreciated in his home country and his permanent quest for attention from the most disreputable beings, from fashion models to tabloids.

Those who want to know how the story of the exceptionally gifted photographer, whose talent has stagnated thanks to his hypertrophic ego, continues will need wait for the next episode. Saudek is 73, but given his physical condition, this series could to continue for a very long time.


Translated with permission by the Prague Daily Monitor.