A film by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur
Epic, expansive, affectionate and deeply passionate, CzechMate – In Search of Jiří Menzel is the definitive work on the Czechoslovak New Wave. This extraordinary documentary film, a labour of love by archivist and filmmaker Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, has a depth and scale unparalleled in the study of the Czechoslovak cinema.
Jiří Menzel’s debut film Closely Observed Trains (Ostře sledované vlaky, 1966) made a profound impression on young film student Dungarpur. Years later, he invited Menzel to meet him in a Prague café - and so began a conversation and a friendship that has culminated in this epic, seven-hour film that not only explores the deceptively whimsical comic films of Jiří Menzel, but all of the artists who strove to make films that whispered subversion and rebellion often at the risk of their livelihood, or even their lives.
Filmed over a period of seven years, Dungarpur and his team interviewed filmmakers, actors, crew members, writers, historians and critics who had been touched by the New Wave - including Věra Chytilová, Miloš Forman, Vojtěch Jasný, Ivan Passer, Ken Loach, Juraj Jakubisko, Jaromír Šofr, Andrzej Wajda, Dušan Hanák, Štefan Uher, Jan Němec, and Miroslav Ondříček among them.
CzechMate – In Search of Jiří Menzel reminds us of the genius, originality and bravery of the artists of the ‘Czech Miracle’, one of the most important and influential movements in the history of cinema.
“A miraculous film. […] You emerge from the cinema craving an entire season of Czech classics, and realising how much there is about this cinema that we in the West have yet to fully discover. You have given those of us who worship at the altar of cinema yet another incredible gift” Scott Foundas
Blu-ray Special Edition Contents
CzechMate – In Search of Jiří Menzel (2018) presented from a director-approved HD transfer
Jiří Menzel short films: Prefabricated Houses (Domy z panelů, 1960) & Our Mr. Foerster Died (Umřel nám pan Foerster, 1962)
Booklet featuring extracts from the diaries of filmmaker Shivendra Singh Dungarpur
Region free Blu-ray (A/B/C)
5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
World premiere on Blu-ray