Vojtěch Jasný

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Vojtěch Jasný in 1998

Vojtěch Jasný (30 November 1925 – 15 November 2019)[1] was a Czech director, screenwriter and professor who has written and directed over 50 films. Jasný made feature and documentary films in Czechoslovakia, Germany, Austria, USA & Canada, and was a notable figure in the Czechoslovak New Wave movement of the 1960s. He is best remembered for his movies The Cassandra Cat and All My Compatriots, both of which won prizes at Cannes Film Festival. In addition to his film career, he taught directing at film schools in Salzburg, Vienna, Munich and New York.[2]


Jasný was born in Kelč, Czechoslovakia on 30 November 1925. His father was a teacher. In 1929 his father bought a movie projector for a local Sokol club, which provided Jasný's first introduction to cinema. After watching Renoir's The Little Match Girl he decided to become a filmmaker. During his teens, he made amateur movies on a 9mm camera. During WWII his father was arrested and sent to Auschwitz where he died in 1942. After the war Jasný went to study philosophy and Russian language, but he switched to study filmmaking at newly founded FAMU in 1946. His professors were Karel Plicka, Vsevolod Pudovkin and hosting professors Cesare Zavattini and Giuseppe De Santis. Since 1950 he co-directed many documentaries with Karel Kachyňa. His movies Desire and The Cassandra Cat were nominated for Palme d'Or. In 1968, he directed All My Compatriots which won the award for Best Director at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival.

After the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia following the Prague Spring of 1968 he decided to leave the country. Jasný made movies and taught at film schools in Austria, West Germany and Yugoslavia until relocating to Brooklyn, New York in the early 1980s. In the USA, Jasný taught film directing classes at Columbia University, School of Visual Arts and New York Film Academy and made several documentaries about Czechoslovakia. His last feature film, Return to Paradise Lost, was made in 1999.[3]

In 2009 Arkaitz Basterra Zalbide made a documentary about Jasný called Life and Film (The Labyrinthine Biographies of Vojtěch Jasný) which was later released as a book.[4]

He died on November 13, 2019, aged 93.[5]


Feature films[edit]

Year Title Director Writer Notes
1954 Everything Ends Tonight Yes No Co-directed with Karel Kachyňa
1956 Opportunity Yes No Short film
1957 September Nights Yes Yes
1957 Anděla Yes Yes Short film
1958 Desire Yes No Nominated for Palme d'Or
1960 I Survived Certain Death Yes No
1961 Pilgrimage to the Virgin Mary Yes Yes
1963 The Cassandra Cat Yes Yes 1963 Cannes Film Festival - Jury Special Prize
1966 The Pipes Yes No
1968 All My Compatriots Yes Yes 1969 Cannes Film Festival - Best Director Award
1976 Attempted Flight [de] Yes No
1976 The Clown Yes No West Germany's submission to the 49th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film
1985 The Peanut Butter Solution No Yes
1987 The Great Land of Small Yes No
1999 Return to Paradise Lost Yes Yes

Television films[edit]


  • 1950: Není stále zamračeno
  • 1950: They Know What to Do (Vědeli si rady)
  • 1950: Za život radostný
  • 1952: Neobyčejná léta
  • 1953: Lidé jednoho srdce
  • 1954: Old Chinese Opera (Stará čínská opera)
  • 1954: From a Chinese Notebook (Z čínského zápisníku)
  • 1955: No Fear (Bez obav)
  • 1969: Czech Rhapsody (Česká rapsodie)
  • 1976: Ernst Fuchs
  • 1989: Miloš Forman: Portrait
  • 1991: Why Havel?
  • 1999: Gladys
  • 2002: Broken Silence (Segment "Hell on Earth")


  1. ^ V 93 letech zemřel Vojtěch Jasný, autor filmu Všichni dobří rodáci (in Czech)
  2. ^ John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume Two, 1945-1985". Pages 473-479. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1988.
  3. ^ [1] Poutník – Vojtěch Jasný (in Czech)
  4. ^ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1224134/ Life and Film (The Labyrinthine Biographies of Vojtech Jasny)[user-generated source]
  5. ^ "Czech filmmaker Vojtech Jasny dies at age 93". AP News. 2019-11-16. Retrieved 2022-12-30.

External links[edit]