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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Czech Republic / Slovakia

Natálie Císařovská's The Body maps an uncanny life story, from professional sport to professional porn

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- The emerging Czech filmmaker tackles the life of Andrea Absolonová in her big screen fiction debut

Natálie Císařovská's The Body maps an uncanny life story, from professional sport to professional porn
Natália Germani on the set of The Body

Emerging Czech documentary filmmaker Natálie Císařovská, who previously shot a magical realist short docufiction called Francek about Czech pioneer of abstract art František Kupka, has shot her big screen fiction feature debut The Body. Císařovská tackles the life story of the Czech professional diver in a similar way to her imaginative biopic about Kupka. “A drama such as the one inspired by Andrea Absolonová, who became a world-famous porn actress after a spinal injury and died at only twenty-seven, could easily have lent itself to a sensationalist adaption. But we were interested in something else. Together with screenwriter Aneta Honzková, we are telling a subtly and sparingly narrated story about a woman and her body. What effect do her decisions have on her but also on her relationships with her loved ones,” explains the director.

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Císařovská went on to say that they do not see the protagonist as a passive victim, but as an active agent who manipulates her body consciously. The director added that they eschewed moral judgment while juxtaposing two different environments – that of professional sport and that of the porn industry. Andrea Absolonová was a talented Czech professional diver with a bright career ahead of her. However, her sports career had been cut short by a spinal injury during a training session at the Atlanta Olympic Games. She then embraced a professional career in the adult entertainment industry, where she became an internationally recognized porn actress. She died at the age of 27.

Slovak actress Natália Germani, who stars in the leading role of Tereza Nvotová’s Nightsiren [+see also:
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interview: Tereza Nvotová
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]
, will portray the main character. Daniela Barešová, who appeared in the miniseries Suspicion, has been cast as the protagonist's sister, Slovak actress Zuzana Mauréry, who toplined The Teacher [+see also:
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trailer
interview: Jan Hřebejk
film profile
]
, stars as their mother, with Martin Finger (Word [+see also:
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interview: Beata Parkanová
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]
) depicting their father. The film crew has collaborated with German professional sportswomen Elena Wassen and Pauline Pfeif, who act as stunt doubles in diving scenes, and also with genuine professionals from within the porn industry, including former porn producer Oldřich Widman and actress Tarra White. Klára Belicová, who lensed Kristína Nedvědová's under-the-radar debut Snowing! [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, is the film's DoP and Jan Daňhel (Borders of Love [+see also:
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interview: Tomasz Wiński
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]
, Shadow Country [+see also:
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]
, Athanor – The Alchemical Furnace [+see also:
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interview: Adam Oľha
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]
) is on board as the editor. Slovak scriptwriter Miro Šifra (Dawn – read our news) served as the script editor, alongside screenwriter Aneta Honzková. Principal photography wrapped late September and post-production is scheduled to continue until March 2023.

The Body is produced by Viktor Schwarcz of Czech production outfit Cineart TV Prague, in co-production with Czech Television (Alena Műllerová), Slovak production company Silverart SK (Katarína Krnáčová) and Slovak television network TV JOJ. The Czech Film Fund and the Slovak Audiovisual Fund supported the project. Bontonfilm will handle the film’s domestic theatrical release, with a premiere planned for 2023.

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