The 18th edition of Cinematik will open with the exclusive Slovak premiere of the crime drama We Have Never Been Modern: the audience sensation of the IFF Karlovy Vary

27. July 2023

The opening ceremony of the Cinematik International Film Festival is traditionally associated with exclusive Slovak premieres. After domestic films that were also presented in the programme of the prestigious Venice IFF: The Victim last year and 107 Mothers two years ago, the opening film of the 18th edition of the festival will be the Czech-Slovak co-production drama We Have Never Been Modern. It had its world premiere at IFF Karlovy Vary at the beginning of July and Cinematik visitors will see it on 12 September as the first Slovak audience.

The film is set in 1937, when a young doctor Helena (Eliška Křenková) and her husband, a factory director (Miloslav König), arrive in the industrial town of Svit in the Tatra Mountains to build a new industrial town in the style of Bata’s empire, based on the model of Zlín.

However, the big plans are disrupted by the shocking discovery of a dead newborn baby in the factory grounds. The situation affects Helena not only as a doctor and wife of a factory owner, but also as a woman – she is about to bring her first child into the world. Everyone around her tries to bring closure to the unfortunate incident as soon as possible, but she is the only one who wants to find out the whole truth.

We Have Never Been Modern (2023), a Czech-Slovak detective drama set in the interwar era, was directed by Matěj Chlupáček, who made his debut in 2013 with Touchless. He was only 18 years old at the time, earning him the nickname “Europe’s youngest director”. His latest release was co-written by Slovak screenwriter Miroslav Šifra, who co-wrote Červený kapitán (Red Captain, 2016), the TV series Rats, and is currently the screenwriter of Jakub Króner’s upcoming title Miki.

Matěj Chlupáček describes Dawn as a “modern period film”, i.e. a story that, although set in a historical context, is viewed through a contemporary lens and modern language. For example, it talks about gender differences, but it also has a political and relational dimension.

The film was shot in a historic villa in Lysá nad Labem, in the authentic interiors of an old factory in Zlín, as well as in a fictional town with a 1:7 ratio of backdrops, which was specially created for the film in a large hall in Slané village. In addition to Eliška Křenková and Miloslav König, the film also starred Milan Ondrík, Marián Mitaš, Ján Jackuliak, Martha Issová, Richard Langdon or Luboš Veselý.

The music was composed by Simon Goff, a Grammy Award winner for the Chernobyl series and the Joker film, the colourist was Natasha Leonnet, who is also behind the colours of the Oscar-winning La La Land, and the editor was Pavel Hrdlička, winner of several Czech Lions awards. A large delegation will be part of the film’s screening at Cinematik.