Czechmate: In Search of Jiri Menzel – India’s longest certified film running for 7 hrs!

Filmmaker Shivendra Singh Dungarpur in this documentary talks about the Czech New Wave

Film-maker Shivendra Singh Dungarpur’s film on Jiri Menzel, Czechmate: In Search of Jiri Menzel is finally certified for audience above 18 years of age and it’s broken the record for being the longest film ever certified in India. The film’s duration stretches up to about 7 hours. The record was previously owned by Gangs of Wasseypur in 2012 that had a running time of 5 hr and 20 min. The film was later divided into parts.

Menzel is the focus of Dungarpur’s upcoming magnum opus on the Czech New Wave. The film starts with an interview with the subject of the film and then dives into the history of the movement that influenced filmmakers across the world.

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The filmmaker made this film in a span of 6 years and has finally drawn the project to a close. The film cum documentary will see interviews with many other influential figures such as Andrezj Wajda, Ken Loach, Woody Allen, Raoul Coutard, Agnieszka Holland, Istvan Szabo, and Agnes Varda.

Speaking about the length of the film to a media source, Dungarpur said, “The film became broader and broader as I continued filming. I remember being blown by these films at the Film and Television Institute of India, where I studied direction. These were films about little people in historical settings, and they were tragic and comic at the same time.”

Menzel and Dungarpur met in 2016 at a cafe in Prague and Menzel told the same media source mocking the filmmaker, “This entire film is Dungarpur’s mistake.” “I thought he was crazy, I mean, I am not really as good or intelligent as he thinks,” he added, jokingly.