Agnieszka Holland readying Drive Your Plough Over the Bones of the Dead
by Dorota Hartwich
- At the end of this year, the filmmaker is set to shoot an adaptation of Olga Tokarczuk’s novel, produced by TOR Film Studio together with Germany and the Czech Republic
For Agnieszka Holland, the idea of making a big-screen adaptation of Drive Your Plough Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk, one of the most famous figures in contemporary Polish literature, initially seemed like a very tall order. Indeed, the novelist shared the doubts felt by the director (who is basking in the glory of her successful mini-series Sacrifice - Burning Bush [+see also:
film profile]), but after long months of hard work, a screenplay eventually surfaced, and the Polish Film Institute has just granted the project 3.5 million zlotys (approximately €840,000) to back the production.
The film’s main action will unfold in a small village in southern Poland, in the Sudetes Mountains. At the centre of the story is Janina, a former engineer who is now a vegetarian astrologer. One night, she stumbles upon the corpse of a neighbour who had been an avid hunter. This death is certainly a puzzling one, given the fact that the only footprints visible are those of a roe deer. The dead bodies of other residents are then discovered, and they all have one thing in common: all of the dead people were hunters. Janina attempts to convince the police that there are wild animals going around killing humans, but she is the one who becomes the prime suspect in the investigators’ opinion...
Shooting will kick off at the end of the year, weather permitting, as the plot has to unfold in a winter landscape. The casting process is still in progress, but the DoP will be Jolanta Dylewska (who worked on Agnieszka Holland’s previous cinematic opus, In Darkness [+see also:
film profile], nominated for the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 2012). Produced by TOR Film Studio, Drive Your Plough Over the Bones of the Dead will be co-produced by German firm Und Fernsehproduktions and Czech outfit Nutprodukce. The project, which will benefit from the aforementioned backing from the Polish Film Institute, also received support at the development stage from the MEDIA programme and the Polish-German Film Development Fund.
(Translated from French)