Ivan Passer, a leading filmmaker of the Czech New Wave who with Milos Forman fled Soviet-controlled Prague and forged a celebrated career in Hollywood, has died. He was 86.
Passer died Thursday in Reno, Nevada, said a friend of the family, Amina Johns. An attorney for Passer, Rodney Sumpter, said Passer had been dealing with pulmonary issues.
Passer and Forman met as boys at a boarding school in Czechoslovakia in the years after World War II. (Their classmates included the future playwright and president of the future democratic Czechoslovakia, Vaclav Havel.) After reuniting at the Prague Film Academy, Passer and Foreman's collaboration and friendship became central to the Czech New Wave in the 1960s, a period when avant-garde auteurs took international cinema by storm with wry, mordant depictions of life behind the Iron Curtain.
"We were all united, one way or another, with desire to expose the regime on the screen," Passer told More