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DISTRIBUTION / RELEASES / EXHIBITORS Slovakia / Czech Republic

Political thriller Amnesty soon to land in Slovak and Czech theatres

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- Jonáš Karásek’s film reflects on the events following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia and President Václav Havel’s amnesties, and is the first movie to address the topic

Political thriller Amnesty soon to land in Slovak and Czech theatres
Amnesty by Jonáš Karásek (© Continental Film)

The fiction feature Amnesty, set to land in Slovak and Czech theatres in late October, was made on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. Billed as a political thriller about the decline of communism and the emergence of a democratic Czechoslovakia, it falls into the category of genre filmmaking inspired by true political events, a type of production that has been performing particularly well at the local box office of late. The creative team behind Amnesty – director Jonáš Karásek, screenwriter-producer Maroš Hečko and cinematographer Tomáš Juríček – previously worked together on the stylised cynical thriller The Candidate [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(2013), which also hinged on a political topic. That film has been seen by 82,874 cinemagoers and even had a one-night theatrical run early this year.

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Amnesty, inspired by the book of the same name by Radovan Dunaj, is set against the backdrop of the socio-political upheaval of 1989-1990, and follows three families afflicted by communist persecution and the fallout from the amnesties granted by President Václav Havel. These amnesties sparked a riot among those left behind bars in the worst prison in the country, and the military had to be called in to quell the disturbances. The filmmakers note in their explanation: “The movie aims to reflect our history in a dignified way and point to specific events that later led to the breakup of Czechoslovakia, via the use of genre-based storytelling.”

The cast consists of Slovak and Czech actors Aňa Geislerová, Marek Vašut, Natalia Germani, Juraj Bača, Jana Oľhová, Marek Majeský and Ján Jackuliak, reflecting the topic of the story, according to the filmmakers, and the picture was shot largely in Slovakia, with some scenes filmed in the Czech Republic, over the course of 36 days. Amnesty is the first fiction film dedicated to the events of 1989 and 1990. “November 1989 is an iconic moment in our history, and no film so far has attempted to address it,” said the film’s script consultant, Maja Hriešik.

Amnesty is being produced by AZYL Production (Slovakia), and co-produced by HomeMedia Production (Slovakia), Radio and Television Slovakia and Endorfilm (Czech Republic). The Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic and the Slovak Audiovisual Fund supported the film. Continental Film will handle the distribution for the Slovakian territory, while Bontonfilm will do likewise in Czech cinemas.

The trailer and teaser are available to view below:

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