Saint Wenceslas

St. Wenceslas (PG*) + live accompaniment by Cappella Mariana
  • Czechoslovakia
  • 1h 44min
  • Directed by: Jan S. Kolár
  • Cast: Jindrich Edl, Theodor Pistek, Bohumil Hes
  • Language: Czech

Czech silent historical epic about the life of the country's patron saint.

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St. Wenceslas (PG*) + live accompaniment by Cappella Mariana

A milestone in Czech cinema history, this silent epic was the most expensive Czech film to date, with the largest set constructed in Europe to accommodate an all-star cast of over a hundred, together with 1,000 extras for the lavish battle scenes.

Its team of cinematographers included Jan Stallich (Ecstasy) and Otto Heller, who later worked with Max Ophuls and Laurence Olivier, as well as Michael Caine on The Ipcress File and Alfie. Recalling the work of Griffith and Fritz Lang, Jan S. Kolar’s vast, ambitious production tells the tenth century legend of Vaclav Duke of Bohemia (St Wenceslas), who successfully defeated his enemies but was murdered by his own brother. Vaclav became the patron saint of Czechoslovakia, his statue standing at the head of the square bearing his name in Prague.

Czechoslovakia 1929 Dir Jan S. Kolár 116 min

Accompanied by vocal artists and musicians from Cappella Mariana, the Prague-based early music ensemble specialising in medieval polyphony, this rare and precious screening provides a magnificent celebration of the 100th anniversary of Czechoslovakia.

Presented in partnership with the Czech Centre London in collaboration with the Czech National Film Archive. Part of Projecting Czech History: 1918 – 2018.

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