The Divine Emma

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An old-fashioned, slow-moving biopic, redeemed by some luscious photography and the gorgeous singing of Gabriela Benacková as the off-screen voice of Emma Destinn, opera singer and Czech nationalist at a time when Bohemia was submerged in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Turning her back on fortune and fans in America at the start of WWI, Destinn rashly returned home carrying a cape with a concealed decoding device, to be arrested at the border and interned in her own stately home. Spurned by the opera houses, with only a deteriorating relationship with her estate manager and lover to sustain her, she rejected opportunities to escape and held hugely popular open-air concerts, to the severe embarrassment of her imprisoners. The film glories in her courage and talent, and she emerges as a sad, passionate woman.

By: JE

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Cast and crew

Director: Jirí Krejcík
Screenwriter: Zdenek Mahler, Jirí Krejcík
Cast: Bozidara Turzonovová
Juraj Kukura
Milos Kopecky
Jirí Adamíra
Josef Somr
Cestmír Randa