Milada Horáková’s daughter explains role in new feature film about mother

The long-awaited film about Milada Horáková, a democratic MP executed by the Communists in 1950 and perhaps the most powerful symbol of resistance to Czechoslovakia’s Communist regime, officially premieres in Prague on Thursday evening. The film was made by Czech US-based director David Mrnka. The role of Milada Horáková is played by Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer:

Jana Kánská, photo: CTKJana Kánská, photo: CTK Several documentaries have been made about the life of Milada Horáková, the only woman to be executed by the Communist regime for her political beliefs, but Milada is the first feature film dedicated to the democratic politician.

The film, which focuses mainly on the period of time between 1945 and 1950 when the Communists took over, examines not only the political aspects of her story, but also more personal issues.

The role of Milada Horáková was entrusted to Ayelet Zurer, and Israeli actress who starred in Steven Spielberg's Munich. The Czech film star Anna Geislerová appears in the role of the infamous communist prosecutor Ludmila Brožová.

Milada is the debut feature of the US-based Czech director David Mrnka. He started working on the project more than ten years ago and it was the daughter of Milada Horáková, Jana Kánská, who gave him support to make the film.

Ayelet Zurer as Milada Horáková, photo: Bohemia Motion PicturesAyelet Zurer as Milada Horáková, photo: Bohemia Motion Pictures I caught up with Jana Kánská, in Prague to attend the premiere, to ask her about the film and her role in the project:

“David Mrnka came a long time ago and he visited Washington where I live right now. He had so much information already, which he obtained from the archives and from all the historical documents, that I was absolutely sure he was the right person to make this very difficult film. So I faithfully waited until now, when the film became reality.”

You provided the filmmakers with some valuable materials concerning your mother. What did they include?

“They were mostly memoirs of my father and grandmother and some letters my parents wrote to each other. It included my personal memoirs as well.”

Does the film say something about your mother that hasn’t been said before?

“I think that some scenes there which are really personal, especially the last visit, were described exactly as they happened.

Ayelet Zurer as Milada Horáková and Robert Gant as her husband, photo: Bohemia Motion PicturesAyelet Zurer as Milada Horáková and Robert Gant as her husband, photo: Bohemia Motion Pictures You have already seen the film. Would you say it does justice to your mother’s story?

“I think that the film is very good and I think that it is important that it is appearing right now. People need to know what happened then and need to remember those difficult times.”

After its premiere in Prague, Milada will be screened in cinemas elsewhere in the world and will eventually be for streaming thanks to streaming video service Netflix, which has bought rights to the film.