Town of Otol
The story of TOWN OF OTOL tells about the opportunities of a person caught in a net of violence, about the heritage of violence of a totalitarian regime, how the entire society outside of official power structures is intertwined with violence and how it affects the most intimate human relationships.
The protagonist of the story is a renowned Slovak restoration artist Eva (38). She lives a peaceful life. She has no children and dedicates all her time to work. Isolated from the real world and its problems, she is finishing restoration work on a church in Rome, where a young man, Julian (28), approaches her. He needs to restore an orthodox chapel in the town of Otol located in Russia. Eva refuses his offer and returns home to her partner. However, here she finds out that her private life is in ruins, so, eventually, she accepts the offer from the strange man and leaves for town of Otol.
Immediately upon her arrival, Eva is thrown into a whirlwind of unexpected events. On their way from the airport, Julian and Eva they find a dead woman on the train tracks. She had thrown herself under a train after finding out her husband had died under mysterious circumstances. Bystanders turn to Julian and accuse him for what had happened. Julian doesn’t react to their attacks, instead, he takes Eva to a distant lonely settlement. There they save a small child, Damian (4) – son of the woman from the train tracks.
After her arrival in town, Eva finds out that the majority of residents here live in desperate poverty, which contrasts sharply with the luxury of the hotel she is staying in. The hotel clientele is made up of very wealthy people and Eva does not understand for a long time, what they are doing in this town in the first place.
Julian shows Eva the chapel she will be restoring. It is an assignment from some L.A. who wants to bury his mother there. It seems strange to Eva that the church would allow somebody to bury their mother in a Byzantine temple. At that time she doesn’t understand yet that her employer is a powerful Russian oligarch who rules the whole town and organizes illegal business in it. That’s why Eva is not scared of him at first. Enchanted by the beauty of the frescoes, she begins work. However, she makes a fatal mistake when she falls head over heels in love with L.A.´s adoptive son, Julian.
Ever since this moment, she finds herself inside a nightmare that she can find no way out of. Foggy warning sings tell her that she should leave the town of Otol, but Eva is too self-absorbed to notice them and to act upon them.
Instead, from underneath layers of dirt she uncovers precious frescoes without realizing that, at the same time, town of Otol reveals itself to her with all its perversions. The only light for her is her relationship with Damian, the orphan who was placed in the vicarage where Eva is working.
After L.A.´s unexpected death, Julian becomes the new ruler of the town. It’s not until that momet that Eva finally sees Julian for what he really is. At that moment, she decides to run away from the town of Otol…
Violence gets inherited from generation to generation. It is hard to break away from the trap of typical roles in a pathological triangle – the persecutor, the victim, the rescuer.Just as L.A. once took Julian under his wing andtrained him in the practices of violence, now Julian takes Damian. The scepter of violence has its new prince. A princ has his father. Who will become his mother now…?
Laura Siváková is graduated in Screenwriting from the Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts.
She debuted in 2002 with feature film QUARTÉTTO (screenwriter, director, architect) awarded with The Audience Award IFF Bratislava 2002, Bronze Grape at IFF Lagow 2002(Poland) and Igric 2002 – Slovak Film Union Award – for script, directing and music.
Second feature “Heaven, Hell…Earth” written and directed by Laura Siváková got the National Hartley-Merrill Prize for Best Script in Slovakia and won Gold Remi Award at 43rd WorldFest-Houston 2010. The film was screen at many international festivals.
She wrote several scripts for tv series i.a.: “A Clinic in the Rose Garden” and “Ghosts”.
Biba Bohinska has a degree in Screenwriting from Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Bratislava. After a short time spent on copywriting for an advertising agency and acting as a Managing Director of PR Agency Orloff she is back to film working as a freelance screenwriter.
She writes features, documentaries and tv series for a private Slovak tv Markiza.
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