EXCLUSIVE: Talk about art imitating life. A writer/director who was pronounced clinically dead twice in his life and experienced an unusual phenomenon when he was “dead,” has written a semi-autobiographical film about his experience with Brendan Fraser playing a key role and Marcia Cross playing a character called ‘The Boss’ which is really God. Behind the Curtain of the Night, written/directed by Dalibor Stach, follows a boy who drowns when he is six years-old and has a near-death experience and then it happens again when he is 18 years old. In the five minutes that he is declared dead the second time, he sees his past lives from before he was born, and his future lives up until the year 3,012. When he comes out of it, he decides to write a book which becomes a best-seller in the Czech Republic … all of which actually happened to Stach.
The story is about reincarnation and also what happens after you die. Because of the reincarnation theme, Fraser plays multiple characters in the past as he finds himself in World War II through the present and future. The project is being produced by Milan Friedrich via Crypto One Bill and Phillip Goldfine via Hollywood Media Bridge (Oscar winner The Lady in Number 6: How Music Saved My Life).
As aforementioned Stach (you guessed it — the Czech writer/director) was twice declared clinically dead; during one of those experiences, he was told he had to live to make a film about this. “I was told by someone who also died twice that I was supposed to share the story, and if I didn’t tell the story, it was going to kill me,” said the director through a translator. “The very next day, I had a near miss with a tragic auto accident as two cars crashed together and barely missed me. After that, I started to prepare everything, but then had doubts again because I was afraid to tell people what happened to me. And then, after that, I got into a car accident but survived, and that’s when I knew I had tell the story.”
The story reminds me very much of Only Love Is Real, written by American psychiatrist Brian Weiss, which I read just a few years ago and follows a patient under hypnosis who recounts her many former lives.
But here’s the thing, (and having had a near-death experience myself it doesn’t surprise me), 40% of the cast and crew consist of people who have had near-death experiences (and some of them it has happened twice to). “That just happened. It wasn’t planned, it just all started happening,” said producer Friedrich. “My belief is the same’s as Dalibor’s, and I met him at a cafe and we began talking and I knew it had to be started quickly, and I basically just started putting the money together. It all came together very quickly.”
How did Goldfine come into it? “A mutual friend of mine’s and Milan’s said that Milan was looking for someone to help him with the movie and he flew into Los Angeles, and I said, ‘I’m in.” Within a month, the the project started shooting in Czech Republic while American casting was underway in the states.
The rest of the cast of the film is pretty much international. It also stars Dawn Oliveri (House of Lies), Massimo Dobrovic (stars in the Italian version of CSI: Rome), Czech actor Bolek Polivka (portrays the male side of ‘The Boss’), and finally Czech actress Petra Buckova (mysteriously appears throughout the main character’s life and offers guidance).