Archive of films Don Juans / Donšajni

Czech Republic
2013, 100 min

Section: Czech Films 2013–2014
Year: 2014

Jiří Menzel speaks of his latest film as a "ribald comedy” and, indeed, the poetics of the movie mirror the light humor and bawdiness of his prior Hrabal adaptations. Screened at festivals in Montréal, Chicago, and Goa, India, this picture is Menzel’s first based on his own script.


Singer Jakub returns from the USA to the local Czech theatre, where he got his start and where he is now to star in a production of Don Giovanni. He has been invited by director Vítek, a man who thinks of himself as a skirt chaser rivaled only by none other than Jakub. Jakub’s return opens old wounds, and the inhabitants of the town, led by the children’s choir teacher (who had some kind of relationship with Jakub in the past), begin to take an interest in other things than the planned premiere. In his first movie based on his own script, Czechoslovak New Wave veteran Jiří Menzel returns to the world of classical opera, adumbrated here as the refuge of noble feelings that are threatened by more than just unbridled entrepreneurial machinations. In addition to popular Czech actors, the director cast actual opera singers in the film. He endeavoured to create a gentle atmosphere and an air of wisdom, at the same time capturing the classic values that, in his eyes, are vanishing from the world.

About the director

Jiří Menzel

Jiří Menzel (b. 1938, Prague) is a key personality of the Czechoslovak New Wave and one of the most highly acclaimed Czech filmmakers internationally. His debut Closely Watched Trains (1966), the restored print of which will debut at KVIFF, took the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film; he has also received accolades for other Bohumil Hrabal novel adaptations, which form the central axis of his work. Larks on a String (1969) finally made it to theaters in 1990 following the regime change, while during the period of Normalization Cutting It Short (1980) and The Snowdrop Festival (1983) were box office favorites. Audiences also warmed to the comedies Seclusion near a Forest (1976) and My Sweet Little Village (1985). Capricious Summer, based on the work by Vladislav Vančura, won the Crystal Globe at KVIFF 1968. In addition to directing motion pictures, Menzel is also a longtime actor and, more recently, theater director.


Bontonfilm, a.s.
Na Poříčí 1047/26, 110 00, Praha 1
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 257 415 111
Fax: +420 257 415 113
E-mail: [email protected]

Media Pro Pictures s.r.o.
Krizeneckeho nam. 1078/5A, 15200, Praha 5
Czech Republic
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Czech Films 2013–2014
Director: Jiří Menzel
Screenplay: Jiří Menzel
Dir. of Photography: Jaromír Šofr
Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Aleš Březina
Editor: Jiří Brožek
Producer: Adrian Sarbu
Production: Media Pro Pictures
Coproduction: TV Nova
Cast: Jan Hartl, Libuše Šafránková, Martin Huba
Contact: Media Pro Pictures s.r.o.
Distributor: Bontonfilm, a.s.


Jiří Menzel

Daniel Dušek


Martin Palán

Distributor, Producer


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