The Slovak filmmaker Jakubisko passed away in Prague, where he had been residing with his family since the separation of Czechoslovakia in 1993. His daughter Janette confirmed the news to the Slovak public radio and television. The Czech Culture Ministry also announced his death. Jakubisko died on Friday, 24 February, shortly before midnight.
According to a report from The Independent, Juraj Jakubisko, a renowned Slovak filmmaker, screenwriter, and cinematographer, has passed away at the age of 84 in Prague. Jakubisko was known for his unique visual style and use of magical realism in his films, earning him the nickname “the Fellini of the East.” Born in the Slovak village of Kojšov in 1938, Jakubisko studied photography in Bratislava before graduating from the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague with a degree in film directing.
Juraj Jakubisko was a famous director gaining international recognition for his experimental short films before shooting his first feature film “Crucial Years” (Kristove roky) in 1967. Despite facing bans on his films in the 1970s, the director continued to create documentary works until he returned to feature filmmaking with “Build a House, Plant a Tree” (Postav dom, zasaď strom) in 1979, which also received acclaim before being banned for its anti-regime themes.
One of the director’s most successful works was his epic feature “Millennial Bee” (Tisícročná včela) in 1984, which impressed both critics and audiences. He also directed the children’s film “The Feather Fairy” (Perinbaba) in 1985, featuring the talented actress Giulietta Masina.
However, it’s worth noting that some of the director’s earlier films faced obstacles due to their provocative content. “The Deserter and the Nomads” (Zbehovia a pútnici) (1968), for instance, received the Little Lion award for young artists at the Venice Film Festival, but was later banned. Similarly, the tragicomedy “See You in Hell, Friends” (Dovidenia v pekle, priatelia) (1970, completed in 1990) also faced censorship.
The historical drama “Bathory” (2008) was the first English-language film by Jakubisko, produced by Jakubisko Film Slovakia in collaboration with several other companies. It was the most expensive film ever made in Slovakia and the Czech Republic at the time. The movie was successful at the box office in both countries, breaking an admission record in Slovakia that remained unbeaten for a long time.