Entertainment & Arts

Otakar Vavra dies aged 100

Otakar Vavra
Vavra was criticised for co-operating with Czech communist rulers

Czech director and teacher Otakar Vavra, whose students included One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest director Milos Forman, has died in Prague aged 100.

Vavra directed more than 50 films from the 1930s onwards, including 12 during the Nazi occupation of his country.

Golden Queen, winner of top prize at the 1965 San Sebastian film festival, and 1967's Romance for Bugle, are considered to be among his best works.

In the 1950s he helped to set up Prague's Famu film school.

Forman, who won two best director Oscars - in 1976, for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and in 1985, for Amadeus - was among his students there.

Vavra also taught Jiri Menzel who directed films including Closely Observed Trains, winner of the best foreign language film Oscar in 1968.

FAMU dean Pavel Jech hailed Vavra as "one of the most significant people in the history of Czech cinema and the teacher of the most important Czech film generation".

But Vavra's critics complained his films followed Communist ideology too closely.

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