At today’s press conference in Trenčianske Teplice as part of the 19th annual Art Film Fest, famed director Juraj Jakubisko presented his plans to film a two-part saga entitled “Slovanská epopea” (Slavic Epic).
This historical epic focused on medieval Slavic society in Europe will be set in the 9th century A.D., a harsh, dark and mysterious age full of power struggles, wars, cruelty and mass migration, but also a time when the Europe we know today was formed. The film centres on a historical event of enormous significance, one that has impacted the development of this part of the world ever since – the arrival of apostles Cyril and Methodius, who planted the seeds of Christianity in this vast region. The topic’s significance is compounded by the fact that in 2013, all of Europe will celebrate the 1150th anniversary of the saints’ arrival.
“On numerous occasions I’ve been surprised at how little European audiences know about the history of the Slavs,” remarked Jakubisko. “Most of our western neighbours are very proud of their own histories, but when it comes to ours, they think it started some time after the First World War. They haven’t the slightest idea that all of us Slavs once belonged to a single nation, and that all of our languages stem from a single common language. The story of the erstwhile great Slavic nation, whose roots stretch from the Balkans to Russia, has remained a secret too long…” added the director known as “the Fellini of the East”.
The film’s subtitle, “A Thousand Years of Solitude”, reflects both our homeland’s pre-Christian history as well as the disintegration of our common roots.
“Modern-day Europe has resolved to live in a borderless space,” explained the film’s producer Deana Jakubisková Horváthová. “This new world we all share is made up of countries and ethnicities each trying to define their place in this immense collective home. And for many new members, which include numerous Slavs, this is the first chance to present our ancient roots, the origins of our languages, beliefs and attitudes,” she added.
Jakubisko begins producing this fascinating piece of Slavic and Christian history in early 2012. The film’s two parts each promise over two hours full of mystery, mysticism, sacred hymns, love, death, twists and Jakubisko’s trademark style, featuring numerous international performers, and it is projected to hit cinemas in 2013.