Apr 14, 2024

Director Agnieszka Holland Brings Kafka to Life in New Biopic Filming in Prague

Celebrated Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Holland has begun production on her latest project, a biographical look at Franz Kafka.

This news comes after months of pre-development, with cameras officially rolling in April 2024.

Titled “Franz,” the movie will delve into the life of the iconic writer, weaving a narrative tapestry from his birth in late 19th century Prague to his passing in Berlin decades later.

Filming is primarily taking place in the heart of Prague, with locations chosen in Malá Strana and Old Town, areas close to Kafka’s birthplace in 1883.

The screenplay, co-written by Holland and Czech collaborator Marek Epstein, aims to provide a fresh perspective on Kafka.

Rather than a straightforward biography, the film promises a “kaleidoscopic mosaic” that incorporates not only factual elements but also interpretations and even glimpses into Kafka’s dreams and inner world, gleaned from his letters.

German-Jewish actor Idan Weiss takes on the task of portraying Kafka in his feature film debut, as confirmed by casting information reported in Variety. Filming in Prague is expected to continue until May, with additional scenes planned for locations in Germany.

“Kafka was a man of great sensitivity and ill-suited to his time,” says Holland. “We have a much better chance of understanding him today than his peers had a century ago. He was the soul of the third millennium: a man living mentally largely outside the reality of his body, living in the world of letters as intensely as today’s man is living his life on social networks.

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“To understand Kafka, we want to carefully piece together fragments from Kafka’s past and creation to create a mosaic beyond not only his life toward the present, but also to create a comprehensive view of the dramatic world of Kafka’s imagination.”

Kafka, a German-speaking Jewish Bohemian famous for surrealist and nightmarish visions, was behind such enduring works as “The Metamorphosis,” “The Trial” and “The Castle.”

This production comes just ahead of the 100th anniversary of Kafka’s death on June 3, 1924. Throughout 2024, Prague will be hosting various events to commemorate this literary giant.

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