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Oscar-winning director Menzel awakes from induced sleep

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Prague, Dec 24 (CTK) – Czech Oscar-winning film director Jiri Menzel, 79, has woken up from induced sleep in the Central Military Hospital in Prague-Stresovice on Sunday, according to information on his wife Olga’ Facebook profile.

She released a current photograph of the director with children on Facebook.

“Faith, hope, love… We wish you a merry Christmas,” Olga Menzelova, 39, wrote in a caption under the photograph.

Menzel has been in an intensive care of specialists since mid- November.

The Nova commercial TV reported on November 21 that Menzel was kept in an induced sleep after a complicated head surgery lasting several hours.

He was hospitalised after his return from holiday.

Menzel, one of the leading representatives of the Czech New Film Wave of the 1960s, won Oscar for his film Closely Watched Trains (Ostre sledovane vlaky, 1966), based on a book by famous Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal (1914-97).

Menzel shot 17 full-length feature films, some short films and documentaries and he directed a number of theatre performances both in the Czech Republic and abroad.

He made several film adaptations of Hrabal’s books, including I Served the King of England (Obsluhoval jsem anglickeho krale, 2006), Cutting it Short (Postriziny, 1980), The Festival of Snowdrops (Slavnosti snezenek, 1983) and Larks on a String (Skrivanci na niti, 1969), which was banned and released to cinemas in 1990 only after the fall of the Communist regime. It won the Golden Bear at the 40th Berlin International Film Festival in the same year.

Menzel’s latest film, comedy The Don Juans (Donsajni), was premiered in 2013.

As an actor, Menzel played about 80 roles in films and on TV.

He has received a number of awards for his work. He is a holder of the Czech Lion prize for his artistic contribution to the Czech cinema and a similar life-achievement award from the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival as well as the prestigious French Order of Arts and Literature, among others.

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