It is 1939. Flamboyant Czech diplomat Jan Masaryk flees to America following the German invasion of Czechoslovakia. His nerves are shattered and he buries himself in a mental hospital, struggling with the will to survive. Under the care of Dr. Stein, a psychiatrist and German emigré, Masaryk re-lives the diplomatic battles leading to the outbreak of the second World War and tries to overcome his enemies – inside and out.
Winter 1939. Jan Masaryk, the former Czechoslovak ambassador in London, is taken to a sanatorium in New Jersey after being arrested for breaking into a stranger’s house in an unstable state of mind. This is not his first visit to the sanatorium: as a young manhe had been diagnosed here with a mild form of schizophrenia. This time, though, the wound is emotional: he is suffering from the betrayal of his country and himself by the governments of Britain and France.
Dark thoughts and memories of the recent past dog Masaryk’s at every step. What’s more, he is plagued by the knowledge that he failed as a diplomat and brought shame to his father’s legacy, the founder and first president of the independent Czechoslovakia. With the help of therapy sessions with psychiatrist Dr. Stein and a developing relationship with beautiful American writer, Marcia Davenport, Masaryk wrestles with the demons of his past. These events come to life in the film’s retrospective storyline.
In 1937, following the annexation of Austria, Hitler steps up his territorial demands on Czechoslovakia. These demands are intended to provoke a pan-European military conflict.During 1938, Masaryk holds sensitive talks with the key political actors of the day to prevent a German invasion. His counterparts include Lord Halifax, Georges Bonnet and Neville Chamberlain. Despite his best efforts, his diplomatic work comes to nothing. With a view to conserving peace in Europe, the European powers sign the Munich Agreement, sacrificing the free Czechoslovakia on the altar of appeasement.
Left standing alone against the might of Germany, the president of Czechoslovakia and Masarykhave to decide whether to lead the nation into a hopeless war or submit to the Munich diktat. In the end, pragmatic PresidentBenes opts to capitulate. Masaryk opposes this decision and falls out badly with him. While Benes goes into exile in England, Masaryk tries to escape his conscience by going to the USA, where he ends up in Dr. Stein’s sanatorium.
Not until 1940, when war engulfs the whole of Europe, does Masaryk’s state of mind start to improve. Stein, now as much a friend as a doctor, persuades Masaryk to accept President Benes’s offer to be the minister of foreign affairs in the Czechoslovak government in exile. This means, however, that Masaryk will have to return to London, a city he has come to hate. After a final confrontation with Benes and with the support of Marcia, Masaryk finally finds the strength to return to Europe and fight on for the independence of Czechoslovakia.
March 03, 2017
Master degree in dramaturgy at the Theatre faculty of Academy of Performing Arts. Shortly after his graduation emerged quickly as one of the most staged playwrights in Czech republic. His most known pieces are THE WOMAN TRILOGY including three one-act plays (THE SALOME CASE, THE MÉDEIA CASE, THE MARYŠA CASE), PORNSTARS musical (written along with T. Svoboda), FEDERER-NADAL, VINNETOU (inspired by Carl May´s “Vinnetou”), ICING, THE EGG and POKER FACE.
Many of the plays were translated in foreign languages including the English translations of the plays THE GODS DON´T PLAY HOCKEY, BRITNEY GOES TO HEAVEN and POKER FACE. The translations of various plays were presented through staged readings in theatres worldwide including The Royal Court Theatre, London, The Immigrants Theatre, New York, The Tag Theatre, Vienna or The Satiric Theatre, Sofia, Bulgaria.
Petr works also a lot for tv. Has co-written the popular series SUNDAY LEAGUE and sitcom FOURTH STAR for Czech national TV. He has also written his own sitcom MARTA AND VĚRA. His tv film script THE RIGHT JERSEY is being shot at he moment.
Director and scriptwriter
Graduated at New York Film Academy and then at PRAGUE FAMU University of TV and Film in 2006. He shot numerous short films a two feature films in Czech Republic, USA and Macedonia. He´s currently in pre-production for his third feature film based on the script of Christopher Nolan and Michael Stokes KEYS TO THE STREET starring Gemma Arterton, Max Irons and Tim Roth. Producers: Gail Mutrux / Pretty Pictures USA, Steve Norris/Apollo Productions GB, Kirk D´Amico /Myriad Pictures USA
2009 „NORMAL“ (85 min, 35mm, film noir CZ-MACEDONIA)
Screened at Shanghai IFF – Best Director Award, Moscow IFF and Goteborg IFF
2005: „RESTART“ (85 min, 35mm, debut, drama, CZ-FINLAND)
Festivals: Moscow IFF, Taipei IFF, Mannheim-Heidelberg IFF and others
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