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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Czech Republic

The most bizarre Czech crime case ever gets the episodic treatment in The Attachment Theory

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- The Boy Scouts, a Grail Movement cult, paedophiles and Azerbaijan are embroiled in a stranger-than-fiction child-abuse case dramatised in the miniseries set to be directed by Olmo Omerzu

The most bizarre Czech crime case ever gets the episodic treatment in The Attachment Theory
The Attachment Theory showrunners Olmo Omerzu (left) and Radovan Síbrt

Crime is one of the most frequently seen genres on Czech small screens and has an established tradition behind it. Recently, true-crime series have gained traction on local VoD service Voyo, whose recent original miniseries Case Roubal revolves around one of the most brutal Czech serial killers. Indeed, the streamer has already staged another series, Guru (see the news), based on actual events, about a fake guru abusing his students. The growing domestic appetite for true-crime audiovisual content will be satiated with an ambitious miniseries about the most bizarre Czech crime case ever, under the title The Attachment Theory, which has just been picked for the Berlinale Series Co-Production Market (see the news).

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Shockwaves were sent through the Czech public when the case of a mother who abused her seven-year-old son in their basement made the headlines in 2007 and 2008. The divorced woman in question took care of her two sons while also adopting a 13-year-old autistic girl. After police started investigating the case, it transpired that the 13-year-old girl was actually a 33-year-old music composer, who turned out to be the driving force behind a shockingly extensive network of manipulation and abuse. Additional discoveries pushed the case into stranger-than-fiction territory, implicating the Boy Scouts, a Grail Movement cult, paedophiles and Azerbaijan.

“The case is so complicated that the most likely explanation seems to be the existence of a paedophile ring connected with the Grail Movement that attempted to create a mythical pure being,” says Miro Šifra, a scriptwriter who penned all eight episodes along with Lucie Vaňková. The Attachment Theory will follow the mother, Klára, who abused her own kids; her jealous sister, Kateřina; and Barbora, the woman who infiltrated the family posing as a child. Šifra says that after these three characters meet, they set off “a crazy chain of events resulting in, to quote the court psychologist, ‘a mother’s instinct deformed to a perverted state of mind’.”

Slovenian-born, Prague-based filmmaker Olmo Omerzu (who is also working on the drama-thriller Ungrateful Beings – see the news) has been tapped to helm the miniseries, his first one to date, and he will also be serving as the series’ showrunner together with Radovan Síbrt (Touch Me Not [+see also:
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, When the War Comes [+see also:
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), who is producing The Attachment Theory with Alžběta Karásková and Karel Poupě for Prague-based production outfit Pink. The showrunners intend to deliver a female-led and women-centred family series inspired by Big Little Lies.

The Attachment Theory will focus more on the psychology of women in crisis, rather than on pursuing criminals, and the series is described as being “about three strong women with strange desires”. Simultaneously, Síbrt is also developing a documentary film under the working title Saint Barbora, about the very same case, written by Marek Šindelka and Vojtěch Mašek, and set to be directed by Martin Mareček (Over the Hills [+see also:
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, Out in Force [+see also:
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).

Producer and showrunner Radovan Síbrt confirmed to Cineuropa that principal photography was scheduled for 2024, with the miniseries preliminarily slated for release in the first half of 2024. Síbrt revealed that they would be seeking potential co-producers at the Berlinale Co-Production Market, focusing particularly on the Nordic countries (a portion of the story takes place in Norway) and television pre-purchases.

The Attachment Theory is being produced by Prague-based creative production company Pink.

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