Czech actor and national treasure Zdeněk Svěrák will celebrate his 80th birthday on March 28 with screenings of his 1991 Oscar-nominated film The Elementary School (Obecná škola) taking place at more than a hundred cinemas worldwide.
Movie theaters from Australia to the US will treat fans of Czech film to a digitally restored copy of the Oscar-nominated feature, the first collaboration between Svěrák and his son, film director Jan Svěrák, who would go on to make the Oscar-winning Kolya (1996), Dark Blue World (2001), Three Brothers (2014), and many others.
Jan Svěrák recently told local reporters that his production company reached out to Czech communities abroad in order to gauge interest in the project and were met with an overwhelming response, even receiving notes in the style of Czech language used in the late 19th century.
“Expatriates know the film,” said the younger Svěrák. “The older generation for its nostalgic atmosphere of postwar hopes, the younger for its international success. Others know dad’s films, his songs, and of course Cimrman,” he said referring to the iconic fictional character Jara Cimrman, created by the elder Svěrák and his comedy partner Ladislav Smoljak.
Three dozen screenings of the picture, a potrait of post-WWII life in a small Czech village (co-written by the Svěráks and starring Svěrák senior as the father of one of the film’s adolescent protagonists), will take place in more than a hundred countries around the globe including England, Germany, Spain, Poland, Norway, Argentina, New Zealand, Israel, Mongolia, Bali, and Seychelles.
Here in the Czech Republic 60 movie theaters will show the film which returns to the silver screen after 25 years.
Svěrák says that the anticipated popularity of the event testifies to the fact that Czechs in the world, even after decades of separation, maintain a strong emotional attachment to the language and homeland.
See here for screening locations in the Czech Republic and abroad.
Photos courtesy of www.sverak.cz.