By Andrew Lapin
A bold depiction of a horrifying character emerges from the Czech Republic in I, Olga Hepnarová, the debut narrative feature from filmmaking duo Tomás Weinreb and Petr Kazda.
Set in the 1970s in what was then the Czech Socialist Republic, the movie tells the true story of the last woman to be executed in the country, a suicidal 22-year-old lesbian (played by Michalina Olszanska, also the star of this year’s Sundance selection The Lure) who deliberately ran over a group of pedestrians with her truck, killing eight people.
To illustrate the protagonist’s alienation from her surroundings, the film uses strict formalism: shot in black-and-white, in almost entirely static shots, with no musical score, frequently isolating Olga’s face or body in the frame. The film is a co-production of four countries: Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, and France.
The film had its world premiere as the opener for the Panorama track at the 2016 Berlin Film Festival. NFS caught up with co-director Weinreb after the showing to talk about getting four countries to co-finance this “existential drama” and almost shooting in 35mm.
From:: No Film School