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DC Premiere of Milada

On the evening of November 16, the Embassy of the Czech Republic hosted at Landmark Cinema a DC premiere of  the film Milada by director David Mrnka. The heart-wrenching motion picture tells the true story of Milada Horáková, the only woman executed on the basis of fabricated charges of conspiracy and treason in a political show trial by the communist regime in former Czechoslovakia in 1950.  

The film was screened in the presence of Milada Horáková’s daughter Jana Kánská, director David Mrnka and composer Drew Alan on the eve of November 17 to commemorate the 28th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution.

Ambassador of the Czech Republic Hynek Kmoníček welcomed the full theater and offered his most humble respects and gratitude to Jana Kánská, Milada Horáková’s daughter, who came to the premiere and is featured in the film.

Set against the complex, political landscapes of post-WWII, Milada tells the story of a democratic heroine and champion of women’s rights, who survived imprisonment in Nazi concentration camps only to be arrested and executed by the communists in 1950. A character-driven film, the internationally acclaimed actress Ayelet Zurer and Czech star Aňa Geislerová take on the roles of Milada and the state prosecutor via a suspenseful plot as Milada fights for her intense convictions in freedom and equality despite causing sorrow to those who love her most.

After the screening, writer, director, and producer David Mrnka sat down with Washington Post’s columnist Petula Dvorak, who said she understood why he picked Milada Horáková’s powerful story as his film’s subject. David Mrnka stressed that he wanted “the story to be known overseas, not just in the Czech Republic.” The interview further emphasized the feminist aspect in that the heroine put “morality before family.” The director acknowledged that Czechs “don’t talk about this part of history but are about to face it and speak about it.” He wholeheartedly thanked Jana Kánská for collaborating with him over the course of the last ten years and sharing her story with the world.

Milada Horáková moved amid some of the greatest minds of her time and inspired those who met her. Her execution shook the world and triggered powerful and fervent responses from many nations and renowned individuals across the globe – Churchill, Einstein, and Eleanor Roosevelt, to name a few. The film, shot on many authentic locations, such as the courtroom where Milada stood 67 years ago, illuminates idealism and shocking tragedy.

During an intimate reception at the close of the event, the audience was able to speak to the director as well as Drew Alan, who composed multiple pieces, such as the moving opening and closing music, for the film.

The Embassy of the Czech Republic thanks the main sponsor Lockheed Martin and the partner American Friends of the Czech Republic.


Milada DC Premiere 2017