Jan Svěrák is already assured of a place in the annals of Czech film. Since the end of the communist era, no other director has been more successful in the Czech Republic. In a country with a population of merely ten million, four of his films each attracted over one million visitors to the domestic box-office. In 1996, he received an Academy Award for KOLJA / KOLYA, and many other national and international awards have been bestowed on his work. Abroad, too, his films have enthused general audiences and specialists alike. But what drives him? What are his influences? What are his distinctive stylistic attributes? Answers to these questions, and other besides, are attempted in the following introduction.
Jan Svěrák was born in 1965 in Žatec, a typical small Czech town in North Bohemia. His father, Zdeněk Svěrák, came from Prague. He was a journalist for Czech radio at the time of his son’s birth, but would later become known as an actor and screenwriter as well as the author… read more