Europa Europa director Agnieszka Holland examines a crucial chapter in contemporary Czech history with this three-part drama set during the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia, when one student's infernal act of defiance inspired the people of his country to rise up against their communist oppressors. Prague: January, 1969. The streets of the Czech capital city overflowing with Soviet tanks and troops, university student Jan Palach sets himself ablaze in the streets in a shocking act of protest. Meanwhile, with Palach hovering between life and death, courageous lawyer Dagmar Burešová rises up to his honor against slanderous accusations put forth by a communist politician determined to discredit the student who laid his life on the line in the name of freedom. Though Palach would succumb to his devastating injuries just four days later, his sacrifice was not made in vain as his high-profile funeral sparked sweeping protests throughout Czechoslovakia.