Petr Vaclav’s epic biographical film about Josef Mysliveček, the most celebrated Czech composer of the 18th century. Contrary to his family’s expectations, this son of a Prague miller embarked on a journey to Italy, to the very heart of the world of opera, in search of his dream. Unlike so many others, succeeded in making his mark there and enjoying a stellar career in the second half of the 18th century.
So, who was Josef Mysliveček? How is it possible that he so quickly managed to enrapture the audiences of the most important opera stages in Italy? He captured the attention of the most famous performers, the impresarios, and even monarchs themselves. In doing so, become one of the most sought-after composers of that time. How is it possible that he disappeared from the collective memory just as quickly? The film attempts to answer some of these questions and, above all, to commemorate this Czech musical great, about whom little information has been preserved to this day.
San Sebastián International Film Festival
Palm Springs International Film Festival
Petr Václav (1967, Prague) is considered one of the most talented filmmakers of Czech post-revolutionary cinema. He graduated from FAMU and made his debut in 1996 with Marian (1996), which won the Silver Leopard at the Locarno IFF. His films Parallel Worlds (2001) and The Way Out (2014) premiered in San Sebastian (New Directors Competition) and in the ACID section of Cannes, respectively. The Way Out won seven Czech Lions in 2014, including the Best Film Award, and four Czech Film Critics' Awards. The drama We Are Never Alone (2016) was screened in the Forum section at the Berlinale and at the Toronto IFF. In 2015, he made the documentary Confessions of a Disappeared about a performance of Josef Mysliveček's opera Olimpiade. This then served as the inspiration for a narrative historical film about the composer's life, which had its world premiere in competition at the San Sebastian International Film Festival.