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  • Oscar winning Czech director Jiri Menzel dies at 82

    Published on September 8, 2020

    Oscar-winning Czech director Jiri Menzel has died aged 82 after battling serious health issues.Menzel won an Academy Award in 1968 for best foreign language film for World War Two drama Closely Watched Trains.

    In the year 2013 he was also conferred with Lifetime Achievement Award at International film festival held in india.

    Influential Czech director Jiri Menzel, whose 1966 movie “Closely Watched Trains” won the Academy Award for best foreign-language film, has died at age 82.

    Menzel was part of the Czech New Wave of filmmakers of the 1960s that included “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Amadeus” director Milos Forman and avant-garde director Vera Chytilova.

    He struggled with serious health problems and rarely appeared in public after brain surgery in 2017.

    Menzel gained fame for “Closely Watched Trains,” the coming-of-age story of a young train dispatcher in German-occupied Czechoslovakia during World War Two.

    It was based on a novel by Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal, whose works were a source of other Menzel films, including “I Served the King of England” in 2006.

    Like other directors of his generation, Menzel faced problems with Communist authorities.

    His 1969 film, “Larks on a String,” depicting a group of politically persecuted people forced to work in a scrapyard, was not shown in his home country until 1990.

    It went on to win the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1990.

    44th edition of IFFI in 2013 lifetime Achievement Award was conferred on the legendary Czech film director Jiri Menzel whose films have been acknowledged as the Czech New Wave Cinema.

    Menzel excelled in bittersweet depictions of life, with doses of humour and nostalgia. Many of his works are revered among Czech audiences.
     

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