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A Jester's Tale


Directed by Karel Zeman

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Visionary Czech filmmaker Karel Zeman is recognised as one of the great masters of 20th Century fantasy cinema for his innovative combination of live-action and animation, along with the use of ingenious special effects. Often described as the 'Czech Méliès', his work has been a profound influence on generations of filmmakers from Jan Švankmajer to Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam to the Quay Brothers and Wes Anderson.

A Jester's Tale is one of Zeman's most celebrated achievements. Described by Zeman as a 'pseudo-historical' film, it is a bold anti-war black comedy following the adventures of a ploughboy and a mercenary, press-ganged into service on the battlefields of the devastating Thirty Years' War of 1618 - 1648.

Co-scripted by Pavel Jurácek (Ikarie XB 1, Daisies, Josef Kilián), this startlingly inventive film emerges as a sharp satire on war, human nature and of the way we perceive history itself.



  • Presented from a new anamorphic digital transfer with restored picture and sound
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • 12-page booklet featuring a new essay by writer and book editor Ian Haydn Smith
  • Released for the first time ever in the English-speaking world
Additional Information
More Information
SKU 5060114150843
Catalogue Number DVD 089
Subtitle a film by Karel Zeman
Product contents 1 disc
Year 1964
Director Karel Zeman
Format DVD
Publisher(s) Second Run
Countries Czechoslovakia
Aspect ratio 1.85:1 / 16:9 anamorphic
Colour Black & White
Sound Original mono (restored)
Subtitles English
Language(s) Czech
Running time 81 mins
DVD region 2
Certificate U
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