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Já, Olga Hepnarová (2016)

Not Rated | | Biography, Crime, Drama | 24 March 2017 (USA)
"My verdict is: I, Olga Hepnarová, the victim of your bestiality, sentence you to death penalty." Those were the famous words of the 22-year-old mass murderer Olga Hepnarová, who in 1973 drove a truck into a group of innocent people in Prague.

Writers:

Roman Cílek (story), Tomás Weinreb (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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10 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michalina Olszanska ... Olga Hepnarová
Martin Pechlát ... Miroslav
Klára Melísková ... Mother
Marika Soposká ... Jitka
Juraj Nvota Juraj Nvota ... Advocate
Martin Finger ... Dr. Hronec
Marta Mazurek ... Alena
Ondrej Malý ... Psychiatrist Spyrka
Petra Nesvacilová ... Iveta
Ivan Palúch
Gabriela Mícová ... Psychiatrist Rabska
Zuzana Stavná ... Sister
Jan Novotny Jan Novotny ... Judge
Viktor Vrabec ... Father
Malwina Turek Malwina Turek ... Gypsy Girl
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Storyline

Raised in a strict family environment in Prague, Olga Hepnarová, a timid by nature and troubled child with no friends, was frequently bullied by her classmates. As a result, an utterly alienated Olga will gradually nurture a raging hatred towards an indifferent and faceless society--unbeknownst to her that pretty soon--she will be destroyed by the same element, she's been trying to avoid: its people. In the end, as Olga feels more and more rejected by everyone, a silent but meticulously-prepared plot against society will become her only means of retribution against an odious circle, an apathetic family, and the rest of the world. Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Language:

Czech | Slovak

Release Date:

24 March 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Eu, Olga Hepnarová See more »

Filming Locations:

Nowa Ruda, Dolnoslaskie, Poland See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chosen by filmmaker John Waters as his selection for screening at the 2018 Maryland Film Festival. Waters has chosen a film of a provacative nature for each year of this 20 year old festival. See more »

Quotes

Olga Hepnarová: One day you'll pay for your laughter and my tears.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in DVTV: Klára Melísková (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Piesne z kolovrátku: Tvoj sneh
Music by Frantisek Griglák
Lyrics by Kamil Peteraj
Performed by Collegium Musicum
Vocals by Frantisek Griglák
album: Konvergencie
Opus 1971
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A strong will
23 March 2017 | by David FergusonSee all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Most youngsters have executed a perfect eye roll on at least one occasion after receiving a dose of parental advice that seemed irrelevant to them at the time. An early scene in this biopic finds teenage Olga listening as her mother says, "To commit suicide you need a strong will, my child. Something you certainly don't have. Accept it." This is a warning shot fired at the audience to be cautious when judging the actions of the last woman executed in Czechoslovakia.

Co-directors Petr Kazda and Tomas Weinred seem to believe that most viewers will be familiar with Olga's story, and presume the film's austere look, lack of flow, and structure of seemingly unrelated scenes will provide a sense of the choppiness and isolation that might explain her otherwise inexplicable actions. Based on Olga's true story and the book from Roman Cilek, the film will have you questioning whether her behavior was the result of horrible parenting, or more closely related to her psychological issues – perhaps even schizophrenia.

Michalina Olszamska (The Lure) delivers a committed performance as Olga, the 22 year old woman who in 1972 drove a truck into a group of people in Prague, killing 8 (all between the ages of 60 and 79). A year later she was hanged, becoming the last woman executed in Czechoslovachia.

The movie focuses on the various elements and key moments of her life – father's abuse, mother's iciness, attempted suicide, treatment in asylum, rejection by a lover – that led to her isolation and feelings of alienation. We sense her internal rage building over time, and her inability to cope or even connect with others; though at times we question whether her troubles are by choice or a result of her treatment … it's kind of a twist on the nature vs. nurture debate.

There have been other fine movies that have dealt with a similar theme: There's Something About Kevin, The Omen, The Bad Seed. Each of these deal with the whole good vs evil idea … are some kids born "bad" or are they pushed that way? Either way, it's a parent's worst nightmare. This black and white presentation allows us to keep our emotional distance from Olga, and the no frills approach provides a quite chilling reenactment of how Olga ended up sending a letter to the local newspaper announcing her intention to seek "revenge" for the hatred that society had heaped upon her for years.


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