Karlovy Vary Film Fest to Kick Off with Anthropoid

Prague-shot WWII drama about the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich will open the 51st edition of KVIFF

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 27.05.2016 12:25 (updated on 27.05.2016) Reading time: 1 minute

On this day in 1942, Nazi official and Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia Reinhard Heydrich was assassinated in Prague by a team led by Jan Kubiš and Jozef Gabčík, Czech resistance fighters who had trained with the RAF and parachuted back into the country for the assignment.

Codenamed “Operation Anthropoid,” the assassination was a key turning point not just in WWII, but in the history of Czechoslovakia; it resulted in the immediate dissolution of the Munich Agreement, which had granted the Sudentenland to Nazi Germany.

The story of the assassination has been oft told in film, including Hollywood wartime efforts Hangmen Also Die and Hitler’s Madman (both released in 1943) and the excellent independent picture Operation Daybreak, which returned to Prague during uneasy Soviet rule in the mid-1970s for filming.

In 2015, two more versions of the story were filmed: HHhH, which was primarily shot in Hungary, and Anthropoid, which shot throughout the streets of Prague last summer.

Yesterday, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival announced that Anthropoid will open this year’s 51st edition of the renowned film fest with its world premiere.

“Since the film takes a look at a key event in Czechoslovak history, the assassination of Reichsprotektor Heydrich, we are glad that our festival will symbolically host its world premiere,” KVIFF president Jiří Bartoška said in a press release.

Anthropoid, directed by Sean Ellis, focuses on Kubiš and Gabčík and their assignment in Prague. Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades of Grey) and Cillian Murphy (Inception) star in the leading roles.

At its premiere in the Grand Hall of Karlovy Vary’s Hotel Thermal on July 1, the film will be attended by director Sean Ellis and stars Jamie Dornan, Charlotte Le Bon, Aňa Geislerová and Toby Jones.

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