February 19, 1924: Great Czech director František Vláčil is born

Photo: © Barrandov Studio a.s.

Photo: © Barrandov Studio a.s.

František Vláčil’s films Marketa Lazarová and The Valley of the Bees are considered masterpieces of Czech cinema. In 1998 he received a Crystal Globe award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema.

His journey to cinema wasn’t a straightforward one. Vláčil, who was born in Český Těšín on February 19, 1924, first studied at the Academy of Arts and Crafts in Prague and then art history and aesthetics at Masaryk University in Brno. He was only introduced to filmmaking during his time in the army. He spent seven years there, during which he became a major, but also a director of propaganda films.

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Author: Klára Stejskalová