The Prague Orgy - a new Czech film in English in Czech cinemas

LESS LIBERTY, BETTER FUCKS

The director Irena Pavlásková just just finished her film The Prague Orgy based on a novel of the same name by a literary legend, Philip Roth, one of the most respected writers in the world. It is the first time in Czech film history that the Czech artist was granted rights from such a world famous artist, winner of the Pulitzer Award, Man Booker Award and many other literary awards. It will premiere in Czech cinemas on Thursday October 10th 2019.  
Link to the trailer: https://vimeo.com/365003472

The Story

The story of The Prague Orgy brings us to the mid-70s. A famous American writer Nathan Zuckerman – an often used alter ego of Philip Roth himself – arrives in Prague to save a manuscript of a banned book. Thanks to the search for the manuscript, he gets to know a peculiar and wild Olga and gets into renowned parties where everyone has his or her own way of escaping to short-term freedom. Zuckerman is attracted to the eccentric woman by her mysteries yet is scared by her shameless openness at the same time. Gradually, against his will, he becomes not only a spectator, but also a participant of a decadent spectacle, where many people play a false game and no one can be trusted. Zuckerman’s Prague visit is full of bizarre meetings with an extraordinary group of people. It soon becomes an adventurous and dangerous mission. At the end Zuckerman is not sure who is a friend and who is a provocateur or an informant. Who are the people form the decadent orgies in the house of a son of a famous painter? Who is a scared student who warns him to leave Czechoslovakia immediately? Who is his guide through the normalization hell? Is he really just a fired theatre director working now as a handyman in a museum? And who is his Olga: a scandalist and a rebel or a player of a double game? Not only Zuckerman’s freedom is in danger, but maybe also his life.  
„In the film the relationship of Olga and Zuckerman is the key one,“  says the director Irena Pavlásková. „Zuckerman is attracted to Olga, but she scares him at the same time. She is so open-minded and without scruples that she embarrasses him and fascinates him at the same time.“

The Cast

Nathan Zuckerman is played by Jonas Chernick. A Canadian actor, screenwriter and producer who was part of tens of Canadian and American TV shows and films. Many of them were screened at the prestigious festivals like Sundance, Toronto or Shanghai. He acted in more than 60 films and was awarded, among others, by Canadian Screen Awards – The best actor at The Best Laid Plans ot Gemini Award for the Best actor in The Border. His most famous film would be an internationally successful comedy My Awkward Sexual Adventure. 
Olga is played by a Russian actress Ksenia Rappoport. She was born in St. Petersburg and she is very respectable film and theatre actress who is often casted into international productions. She was nominated for the European Film Award for the lead part in the film La sconosciuta by Giuseppe Tornatore where she acted with Gérard Depardieu. In 2009 she won the Volpi Cup as Best actress at the Venice IFF for the lead part in the film La Doppia Ora by Giuseppe Capotondi. In Italy she was awarded as the Best actress by the national film award David di Donatello. 
Pavel Kříž is a Rudolf Bolotka in the film. He is a fired theatre director who is now forced to work as a handyman. Bolotka is a guide for Zuckerman. He brings him to the famous orgies in Prague but he is also an ironic glossary of the society in decay, where everyone sleeps with everybody and informs on everybody as well.
Klára Issová and Jiří Havelka form a couple of Czech emigrants. Their story brings Nathan Zuckerman to Czechoslovakia. And actually it may be the actress Eva who accepted that she won’t continue acting in America, but helps Zuckerman to find a new story.
In other parts we will see Miroslav Táborský, Martin Stránský, Jan Hrušínský or Petr Vondráček, Viktor Dvořák and Jakub Wehrenberger – the last two named play well-known Czech writers-dissidents, inspired by Václav Havel and Ludvík Vaculík.

The Creative Team

The Prague Orgy is Irena Pavlásková’s seventh feature film as a director and screenwriter. For her previous films she won many notable awards like Camera d’Or – Special Mention at Cannes IFF, Grand Prix at the Montreal IFF, 4 awards from Moscow IFF and many others. Her films are also very well visited by audience. Her latest film Photographer was second most visited Czech film of 2015.
The writer Philip Roth based the story on his own experience when he travelled to Prague in 70s. He visited banned colleagues-writers like Kundera, Klíma, Vaculík and others. He was also in touch with Czechoslovak community in New York. In 70s and 80s he was supporting the banned writers. In 1976 the communist government refused to let Philip Roth into Czechoslovakia and he returned right after the revolution in 1990. Philip Roth died when he was 85 years old on March 2018. 
The film The Prague Orgy is produced by the Prague Movie Company of Irena Pavlásková and Viktor Schwarcz. Viktor Schwarcz is one of the most respected Czech producers. He won the Czech Lion for the film Flower buds. As an independent producer he produced more than 20 feature films and he collaborated with Irena Pavlásková on her last 2 movies – An Earthy Paradise to the Eyes (2009) and Photographer (2015).
The co-producers are Czech Television, Eydelle Film, Cineart TV Prague, Arina Slovakia, Europeana Production and Analog Vision. The film was supported by the Czech Film Fund, Slovak Audiovisual Fund, the Prague Film Fund.
The premiere is set for October 10th 2019.



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