Film dramatising controversial Mašín brothers’ story put forward for Oscars

The film ‘Brothers’, a retelling of the Cold War story of the controversial Mašín brothers, has been selected by the Czech Film and Television Academy as the Czech Oscar nominee for 2024. Written by top Czech screenwriter Marek Epstein, the film dramatises the events surrounding the Mašín brothers forming an armed resistance group and escaping from communist Czechoslovakia to West Berlin, a topic which remains divisive to this day.

Josef and Ctirad Mašín went down in history after they and Milan Paumer, another member of their armed resistance group, managed to evade capture and escape to West Berlin in 1953. They are regarded by some as heroes, but many others consider them to be cold-blooded murderers, as they killed six people as they fought their way out of the country.

The film that dramatises these events was directed by a distant relative of the brothers, Tomáš Mašín, who says he finds the heroes-or-villains debate somewhat redundant.

“That is a question generated long ago in the communist era – the communists created this black-or-white view. So I refuse to answer on principle – I won’t say yes or no.”

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Authors: Anna Fodor, Martin Hrnčíř, Kristina Roháčková,