July 03, 2020
One of the last projects left to introduce before being pitched within KVIFF's Eastern Promises Industry Days is a drama dealing with the topic of gender roles by Andrea Culkova.
"The Fragile Beauty of Masculinity is about gender roles in today's world and this issue still rises a lot of negative emotions, especially here in Eastern Europe. We really appreciate that MIDPOINT is courageous enough to support our bold search to find unique access to the story. It gives important support on the long way full of obstacles and creative and production fights to produce the film. It's really relieving to meet great experts who share a deep passion for our characters and story. "
Miroslav Novak, Andrea Culkova, Katarina Krnacova
Adam and Iva have been together for over 15 years and are married with two teenage girls. Everything in their lives would be ordinary if Adam wasn’t craving to satisfy his thirst for adrenaline so often. Over the course of their marriage, Iva has learned to swim in this sea of aimless risks and macho gestures. She forgives her husband for everything – including a nasty accident that costs him a leg or a crazy winter motorbike rally which almost kills him. After this last and nearly fatal injury, Adam ends up in the rehabilitation centre where Iva works as a nurse. Unable to move, he starts to fall in love with Iva anew, while she sees that her own inner change and freedom is inevitable and finally decides not to take any more chances. Adam realizes this too late, and – instead of feeling remorse, taking responsibility and putting things in order – he acts like an adrenaline junkie for one last time in his life.
Thanks to my connections to the motorbike community and the rehabilitation centre in Kladruby, most of whose clients are adrenaline seekers, I had a chance to study the crisis of masculinity for many years, meeting the men attempting to define their life role as real men. I had to face the question: What does it mean to be a man, but also a woman, today, when old gender roles seem out-dated and functional new patterns are hard to find? My story touches on an ordinary middle-aged couple. While Adam´s basic desire is to be a “virile man”, he is also struggling with the need for sensibility and responsibility. Iva's role as an “angel” is also challenged, and she has to learn to set boundaries and accept her own incapacities. My intention is to identify with both characters equally and shift from one side to the other. The film’s dark humour contrasts with the story events.
The writer and director Andrea Culková is known for her passion for the film's subject, a unique approach in every one of her projects (many of them produced with Duracfilm) and her ambition to address a world-wide audience. We chose the topic of masculinity and femininity together, and it fits perfectly, as it is the subject of heated controversy and has a great potential to engage audiences in an international context like that of an art-house festival film. The film will contain exterior shots reminiscent of road movies, contrasting with the stereotypical ambience of a sanatorium, which will be filmed near the scenic area of Tromsø (NO). The Kladruby (CZ) rehabilitation facility, which we know intimately, is a key location and is secured for the shooting. We plan an equal co-production between Duracfilm (CZ) and Silverart (SK), using talents from both countries and adding a Norwegian partner to the team.