The Body (Její tělo), a new biopic about Czech athlete-turned-pornstar Andrea Absolonová, who performed under the name Lea De Mae, has received its first look through a new trailer and stills from distributor Bontonfilm. Directed by Natália Císařovská, The Body is slated to hit Czech cinemas from November 15.
The Body tells the incredible true story of Absolonová, a promising diver with the Czech national team whose career took an unforeseen turn after she suffered a career-ending spinal injury while training for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. While she recovered from her injury, she did not qualify for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and retired from the sport at the age of 22.
After doing some modeling work, Absolonová was convinced to audition for the adult film industry, where she performed under the name Lea De Mae alongside Czech starlets Silvia Saint, Daniella Rush and Monica Sweetheart.
After starring in more than 80 adult films over three years, she planned to retire to Prague and start a family; instead, she was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer and died in within months at the age of 27.
The Body stars Natália Germáni as Absolonová, and delves into her unexpected transition from the world of sports to the adult entertainment industry. It also charts her relationship with her sister Lucie (played by Denisa Barešová), who was also a diver with the Czech national team, and the breakdown of their relationship following Andrea’s new career path.
Director Císařovská, who is making her feature debut with The Body, was inspired to make the movie after reading about Absolonová’s story.
“Once I came across a short article about Andrea Absolonová in a newspaper and became interested in her story,” she states in a press release. “I found two narratives in it – one is about sisterhood, about the relationship between two girls who are top athletes, while the more successful one has to end her career due to an injury, she goes into the porn business, and the other sister has to cope with it somehow.”
“The second, for me the most important line, is about a woman’s relationship with her own body. About how the body becomes a public thing. In elite sports, the whole society is concerned with how fit the athlete is, how much she weighs, how she looks. And it’s even more intense in porn. The body becomes a sexual object, an object of pleasure for the whole society.”
Císařovská spent about six years developing The Body, and made the film with a predominantly female crew. She co-wrote the screenplay with Aneta Honzková, and Klára Belicová served as cinematographer.
The Body co-stars Zuzana Mauréry and Martin Finger as Andrea and Lucie’s parents, Zuzana Stivínová as her diving coach, Cyril Dobrý, Karolína Krézlová, Tereza Švejdová, and Andrej Polák. Real-life members of the adult film industry are also feature in the movie.
Star Germáni, who made a splash in last year’s The Nightsiren (Světlonoc), shot the film last year after giving birth to her first child, and recently welcomed her second into the world. Her real-life husband Martin Valihora appears as her on-screen partner in one of the film’s pivotal scenes.
“It was a very tempting offer, but at the same time I had a lot of respect for it. I couldn’t imagine how it could be filmed in such a way that I could handle it mentally,” she says of her role as Absolonová.
“It is an interesting, tragic life story inspired by a real woman who lived an extraordinary life. During the course of the film, the heroine changes in such a way that we could make three separate films about her. This is a huge challenge and a wonderful job for an actor. Rarely does one get a role where there is really so much to play.”
The Body will enter Czech cinemas from November 16 in a 18+ version intended for adult audiences alongside an edited 15+ version more appropriate for younger viewers.