Czech Republic


Based on a true story, MILADA recounts the life of Milada Horakova, a courageous woman who fought for her country's freedom – at the cost of her own. She was a lawmaker whose own government turned on her, arrested her, and, ultimately, carried out a death sentence for her pro-democracy and anti-communist beliefs.
It is a story that strikes as deep a chord today as ever. Its themes range from freedom, truth, and justice, to love, hope, and sacrifice and are universal. It’s about an individual, whose extraordinary choices touched countless people. It’s about a woman, a wife, and a mother, whose commitment to her country’s freedom threatened to tear her family apart. It’s about a remarkable leader in a turbulent time, who left her irreversible mark on the conscience of a country.
Milada was, among other things, a potent legal reformer and diplomat who devoted her life to making it a better world. She championed legal reform which vastly improved the lives of others. Milada’s tireless efforts continued even through the Nazi invasion, helping Jewish population escape the country and through a political resistance, resulting in being sentenced to death by the Germans. Milada spent five years in concentration camps. Ultimately her sentence was commuted from death to eight years.
Everything she fought for was threatened when a Communist coup seized the government, and her country came under the rule of a totalitarian dictatorship.
Milada was torn between love of country, and love of family. Balancing the two was a struggle. Not wanting to endanger her husband and daughter but unable to watch passively as the freedom she had fought so hard to preserve was being destroyed, Milada joined a dangerous, underground resistance against the Communists.
And the price was her life.
Set against the beautiful and complex landscapes of post-war Czechoslovakia, Milada’s true story shook the world and triggered powerful and fervent responses from people in nations around the globe. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, German-born scientific genius Albert Einstein, and American First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt made desperate pleas for Milada’s life.
Throughout her life, she moved amid some of the greatest minds of her time and but even those she inspired could not save her from a regime hellbent on making her an example in order to quell the uprising.
MILADA is both a political thriller and a compelling drama, combining elements of idealism, gentle humor, and tragedy. It’s a character-driven film with epic themes and a suspenseful plot. It tells the beautiful and moving story of a truly extraordinary woman.

Director's Statement

The driving force behind making this movie was the fact that very little is known about Milada beyond the border of her own country.
I believed Milada’s story is unique, but also translates well into film. This was proven by the fact that Netflix has decided to invest so heavily into the project and allowed to fulfill my promise to Milada’s daughter that the movie would be distributed around the globe. Milada was a woman who fought for what she believed in at all costs, often causing great pain to people around her. And there lies a key to her character. The relationships she had with her husband and her daughter are significant and propel the story forward.

Director's Biography

David Mrnka was born in Czechoslovakia, and studied in Italy before moving to Australia to study business. He later completed studies in film production and established Loaded Vision Entertainment in Sydney.
David started his career as a producer for Extra (Warner Bros, NBC), Larry King Live (CNN) producing segments from Australia.
David’s passion is for documentaries and story-telling, with a strong interest in progressing into film-directing. David had the privilege of studying with leading acting teachers at NIDA and Actors Center, in Sydney, providing him with a keen insight into working with and directing actors.
David has been spear-heading the development of the feature film MILADA for several years. He is originally from a small town in the Czech Republic, where MILADA is set. David also has the advantage of being very familiar with the culture and history of the region.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: David Mrnka

Written by: David Mrnka, Robert J. Gant, Robert J. Conant

Produced by: David Mrnka, Kristina Hejduková, Pavel Müller, Ayelet Zurer, Robert Gant

Cinematography: Martin Štrba

Editing: Olina Kaufmanová

Production Design: Milan Býček

Costume Design: Simona Rybáková

Make-Up & Hair: Andrea McDonald

Original Score: Aleš Březina, Drew Alan

Sound Design: Jiří Klenka

Visual Effects: Boris Masnik

Cast: Ayelet Zurer (Milada), Vladimir Javorsky (Alois Schmidt)

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2018