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Já, Olga Hepnarová (2016)

"My verdict is: I, Olga Hepnarová, the victim of your bestiality, sentence you to death penalty." Those were the famous words of the 22-year-old mass murderer Olga Hepnarová, who in 1973 drove a truck into a group of innocent people in Prague.

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(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
9 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Miroslav
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Mother
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Jitka
Juraj Nvota ...
Advocate
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Dr. Hronec
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Alena
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Psychiatrist Spyrka
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Iveta
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Psychiatrist Rabska
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Sister
Jan Novotny ...
Judge
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Father
Malwina Turek ...
Gypsy Girl
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Storyline

Raised in Prague, Olga Hepnarová was a timid by nature and troubled child with no friends, that was frequently bullied by her classmates. Living in a strict family environment, feeling alone and unable to cope with life's issues, she gradually alienated herself. Unable to fit in, she felt a raging hatred growing inside her towards the indifference of a society that left her destroyed by people. Rejected by everyone and marginalised, she meticulously plotted against society, declaring her intention for revenge against her family and the world... Written by Nick Riganas

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Release Date:

24 March 2017 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ja, Olga Hepnarová  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the crimes of Olga Hepnarová (b. June 30, 1951) who on July 10, 1973 drove a rented truck into a group of about 25 people waiting for a tram in Prague, Czechoslovakia, all aged between 60 to 79, killing 8 of them. Before the murder, she sent a letter to two newspapers explaining her action as revenge for all the hatred against her by her family and the world. She was found to be sane and sentenced to death. The execution took place on March 12, 1975 in the Pankrác Prison in Prague. She was the last woman executed in Czechoslovakia. See more »

Quotes

Mother: To commit suicide you need a strong will, my child. Something you certainly don't have. Accept it.
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Connections

Referenced in Vsechnopárty: Episode dated 19 October 2012 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

P.F. 1972, part I.
Music by Marián Varga
Performed by Collegium Musicum
album: Konvergencie
Opus 1971
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User Reviews

 
A strong will
23 March 2017 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Most youngsters have executed a perfect eye roll on at least one occasion after receiving a dose of parental advice that seemed irrelevant to them at the time. An early scene in this biopic finds teenage Olga listening as her mother says, "To commit suicide you need a strong will, my child. Something you certainly don't have. Accept it." This is a warning shot fired at the audience to be cautious when judging the actions of the last woman executed in Czechoslovakia.

Co-directors Petr Kazda and Tomas Weinred seem to believe that most viewers will be familiar with Olga's story, and presume the film's austere look, lack of flow, and structure of seemingly unrelated scenes will provide a sense of the choppiness and isolation that might explain her otherwise inexplicable actions. Based on Olga's true story and the book from Roman Cilek, the film will have you questioning whether her behavior was the result of horrible parenting, or more closely related to her psychological issues – perhaps even schizophrenia.

Michalina Olszamska (The Lure) delivers a committed performance as Olga, the 22 year old woman who in 1972 drove a truck into a group of people in Prague, killing 8 (all between the ages of 60 and 79). A year later she was hanged, becoming the last woman executed in Czechoslovachia.

The movie focuses on the various elements and key moments of her life – father's abuse, mother's iciness, attempted suicide, treatment in asylum, rejection by a lover – that led to her isolation and feelings of alienation. We sense her internal rage building over time, and her inability to cope or even connect with others; though at times we question whether her troubles are by choice or a result of her treatment … it's kind of a twist on the nature vs. nurture debate.

There have been other fine movies that have dealt with a similar theme: There's Something About Kevin, The Omen, The Bad Seed. Each of these deal with the whole good vs evil idea … are some kids born "bad" or are they pushed that way? Either way, it's a parent's worst nightmare. This black and white presentation allows us to keep our emotional distance from Olga, and the no frills approach provides a quite chilling reenactment of how Olga ended up sending a letter to the local newspaper announcing her intention to seek "revenge" for the hatred that society had heaped upon her for years.


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