Il Boemo is the latest International Feature submission for Czechia. The film is about the Czech composer Josef Myslivecek during a part of his life starting in 1765, as a thirty year old, to the end of his life in 1781. Myslivecek is one of the most acclaimed and prolific composers of opera in Italy during his time.
The film begins in 1765. Josef, who’s also called Giuseppe, has arrived in Venice and is looking to start his career in music. He becomes a violin instructor for a few clients, including a very wealthy woman named Ms. Rezzi. As he’s struggling to pay his rent, Ms. Rezzi pays for a new apartment for him so that he can concentrate all his attention to his music. Unfortunately, he still is unable to start his career despite writing a lot of scripts.
A few years later, at a party, Josef, by chance, ends up meeting another extremely wealthy woman who introduces him to all her connections in the music world. Because of her, he’s able to meet some of the top conductors in Italy and show them the work that he has created. From there, with an opportunity of a life time to work with La Gabrielli, who is a famous opera singer, his career begins to take off.
Petr Vaclav has directed a film about the life of Myslivecek spanning his career from 1765 to his tragic death in 1781. He introduces us to the world of Italian opera and all the ups and downs associated with it. The costumes in Il Boemo are absolutely stunning, as is the make-up, especially in the latest days in Josef's life.
Despite having a fantastic career lasting almost two decades, the hardships of being a composer is shown throughout Il Boemo. Regardless of having all the success, Myslivecek still struggled financially and socially, never being able to make any lasting connections. His career was overshadowed by Mozart and other composers during his time and this film is a tribute to a man who dedicated his life to the thing he enjoyed doing the most: music.