One of the most famous Czech victims of Soviet oppression – along with, perhaps, Jan Masaryk and Jan Palach, whose lives were also turned movies over the past year – Prague politician Milada Horáková was falsely accused of a secret plot to overthrow the communist government in 1949.
She was tried and found guilty in a famous show trial the following year that was directed by Soviet officials and broadcast to the country via radio. Horáková was sentenced to death, and despite pleas from across the world that included Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt and others, she was executed on June 27, 1950, at the age of 48.
After the restoration of Czechoslovak independence in the early 1990s, Horáková was posthumously cleared of all charges, and awarded the Order of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, one of the Czech Republic’s highest recognitions.
Milada, a new movie about the life of Horáková, has been in the works for a few years, spearheaded by writer-director David Mrnka, a Czech-born producer who worked in Los Angeles for the past decade but returned to Prague to make the film. It will mark his directorial debut.
Starring Israeli actress Ayelet Zuyrer as Horáková and American actor Robert Gant as husband Bohuslav Horák, Milada was shot in English on location in Prague over the past year.
Most of the supporting cast are familiar faces from the Czech film scene, and include Aňa Geislerová as state prosecutor Ludmila Brožová, who was sentenced to six years in prison at the age of 86 in 2008 for her participation in the show trials.
Vica Kerekes portrays Horáková’s younger sister Věra, whom Horáková cared for after the death of their mother. Hana Vagnerová , Alena Mihulová , Karel Dobrý, and Ivana Chylka also feature among the cast.
Set for release in Czech cinemas on November 2, a new trailer for the film was was released on the Milada Facebook page earlier this week: