Prague, Nov 5 (CTK) – Director, scriptwriter and producer David Mrnka started shooting a full-length feature film about Czech democratic politician Milada Horakova (1901-1950), who was executed by the Communist regime for political reasons, in Prague Saturday.
The title role will be played by Israeli-American actor Ayelet Zurer, who appeared in the films Munich, Angels and Demons, Daredevil and Ben-Hur.
The film Milada is to be released in cinemas in the autumn of 2017.
Czech actress Ana Geislerova will appear in the role of communist prosecutor Ludmila Brozova, who sent Horakova to death, and American Robert Gant has received the role of Horakova’s husband Bohuslav.
“This is a story of a woman who paid the highest price for her ideas – her life. This is also why it is timeless. Its main topics are freedom, fight for democracy, truth, love and hope that are relevant Saturday as well,” Mrnka told CTK, adding that Czechs should be proud of Horakova.
Mrnka has prepared the co-produced film project for nine years. He was seeking finances first. An important breakthrough was the participation of the Netflix company providing streaming media and video on demand online, which included the film in its offer. It bought the rights for streaming all over the world.
Mrnka did not release the film’s budget, however.
He said he had used the material given to him by Horakova’s daughter, Jana Kanska. Several expert advisers have cooperated on the script.
The first part of the shooting will be finished in mid-December.
“Apart from Prague, we will shoot in other authentic localities, for instance, in Terezin (north Bohemia), Sumava mountains and near Hradec Kralove (east Bohemia) from where Bohuslav Horak came,” he added.
The film crew is mainly Czech, including photographer Martin Strba, costume designer Simona Rybakova, architect Milan Bycek, music composer Ales Brezina and editor Olina Kaufmanova.
“We are shooting in English with a Czech accent. The American part (of the cast) has prepared for it six months,” said Mrnka, who is living in the United States.
Horakova, a lawyer by profession, gave up her mandate of Czechoslovak parliament deputy in protest against the Communist takeover in 1948. Later she unsuccessfully initiated a concerted effort of non-Communist parties in this respect.
She was sentenced to death on the basis of fabricated charges of treason and espionage, along with Jan Buchal, Zavis Kalandra and Oldrich Pecl, and executed on June 27, 1950 at the age of 48 as the only woman to have been executed for political reasons in the country.
Mrnka left the Czech Republic after a secondary school-leaving exam and he studied film in Australia. Then he decided to go to the USA to assist in shooting of American TV series and films. He produces news for CNN and BBC TVs and helped prepare the Larry King Live programme.