One of the promoted new projects at this year’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival was Anthropoid, a US film co-produced by the UK, France and the Czech Republic, unveiled by its writer and director, Sean Ellis.
Ellis chose to adapt an important moment in the history of Czechoslovakia: the assassination of SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich in 1942, carried out by Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš.
Although they failed to kill him instantly, Heydrich later died from his wounds. The perpetrators were caught and executed, and the act provoked merciless reprisals by SS troops, many executions and the destruction of villages (such as the massacre and destruction of Lidice). The lead roles of Kubiš and Gabčík were entrusted to Irish actors Jamie Dornan and Cillian Murphy, while Czech actress Aňa Geislerová stars opposite Murphy as Gabčík’s partner, alongside Charlotte Le Bon, who takes on the role of Kubiš’ partner.
The film was shot entirely in the Czech Republic (on location in Prague and at the Barrandov Studios, etc) over the course of 39 days. “It’s a Czech story, so the authenticity of the settings was 50% of the decision for us. The film incentives were the other 50%,” confirmed one of Anthropoid’s producers, Pete Shilaimon. The material was continuously delivered to Richard Mettler, the film’s editor, and post-production work is already in full swing, following the wrap. The producers have their eyes on the Cannes Film Festival for the world premiere next May.
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