JÁNOŠÍK: The True Story was showcased on all screens of Bratislava’s Palace Cinema in the Aupark shopping centre on the evening of September 4, the TASR newswire wrote. The premiere took place in true Hollywood style with 1,200 invited guests arriving in limousines and walking a red carpet before the film’s first screening. The film depicts the life of Juraj Jánošík, an 18th century outlaw often referred to as the “Slovak Robin Hood”. Jánošík managed to give the local authorities plenty of headaches before being finally caught and hanged by the ribcage in 1713.
The film was directed by Agnieszka Holland from Poland and her daughter Kasia Adamik. Czech actor Václav Jiráček plays the title role of Jánošík. With only 16 copies of the film available to Slovak cinemas, the opening night for ordinary citizens took place on September 10, six days after the red-carpet event.
The Slovak-Polish-Czech-Hungarian film is based on a screenplay by Eva Borušovičová who studied archival records for several years. She claims the film is based on true facts about Jánošík's life, supplemented with events and deeds which are highly probable in the context of the period. The film will also appear on television as a four-part series.
In addition to Jiráček, other leading cast members include Polish actor Michal Zebrowski, American actress Sarah Zoe Canner who learned Slovak for her role, Slovak actors Marián Labuda, Marián Geišberg and Táňa Pauhofová and Czech actor Richard Krajčo.
The film’s budget grew to €6 million over the seven years of shooting. Producer Rudolf Biermann initiated the film in 2002 and about 40 percent of the footage was completed between October 2002 and January 2003. But shortly afterwards one of the film’s partners withdrew from the project and production was halted for six years due to a lack of financing. Polish producer and director Dariusz Jablonski stepped in with his company, Apple Film Productions, and completed the film. According to Jablonski, the result is a truly epic central European film.