Jirí Krizan, a Czech screenwriter whose family was persecuted by Czechoslovakia’s Communist rulers, died of a heart attack on Wednesday, Oct. 13, in the village of Branky. Krizan was 68.
Krizan (born Oct. 26, 1941) wrote about two dozen screenplays, among them Shadows of a Hot Summer, which shared the Best Film Award at the 1978 Karlovy Vary Film Festival, and Je treba zabít Sekala / Sekal Must Die, an “amorality” tale that earned Krizan a Czech Lion (the Czech Oscar) for Best Screenplay in 1999.
According to an AP report, in 1989, the year communist rule fell in Czechoslovakia, Krizan helped Vaclav Havel draft an influential petition known as “A Few Sentences,” which called for the release of political prisoners and the recognition of basic human rights.
After Havel became president, Krizan became one of his advisers, serving as deputy interior minister from 1992-1994.