Press Advisories

23. 9. 2010 15:53

Czech Statehood Day 28th September 2010

The culmination of events to celebrate Czech Statehood will be a gala evening in the Dvořák Hall of the Rudolfinum in Prague.

In the presence of major representatives of the country's cultural, political and social life, a renewed premiere of the film of Saint Wenceslas will be given, with live music from the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of conductor Jan Kučera.

The main speakers will be Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas and Monsignor Dominik Duka, Archbishop of Prague. Marek Eben will be the guide for the evening, which will be broadcast live by Czech Television.

Participants in the project are the Office of the Czech Government, Czech Radio, the National Film Archive and Czech Television.

Saint Wenceslas (1930)

Although the film of Saint Wenceslas had been prepared as part of the thousand-year celebration of St Wenceslas in 1929, with production costs exceeding 4 million crowns (at the time, the most costly film in the history of Czech cinematography), it did not have its premiere until 1930, and without the musical accompaniment originally planned for it. The film did not achieve any great success (it arrived in cinemas in the same year as the first talking film) and for decades afterwards was for the most part of interest only to specialists. In 2009 the score for the original music was discovered and at the instigation of Czech Radio a project was initiated to have it reconstituted and applied to the film.

In parallel with the renewed premiere of the Saint Wenceslas film, a documentary film was made entitled Saint Wenceslas (Saint - Prince - Legend), the aim of which is to capture the process of the film's renovation, to recount the legend of Wenceslas, and to act as a "film about the film" of Saint Wenceslas. Its purpose is also to hand on to the younger generation the message of how it is important for every nation to have its patron saint, defender and legend. A DVD of the film, which is also to be broadcast by Czech Television, will be used as a teaching aid and educational film for schools.
80 years after the original premier in 1930, the renewed premiere of the Saint Wenceslas silent film complemented with the original music by composers Jaroslav Křička and Oskar Nedbal will not only be a worthy celebration of Czech Statehood Day, but above all an opportunity to commemorate the values represented by Saint Wenceslas, patron saint of the Czech Lands, .

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