Movie Hostel - Bratislava, Slovakia fights back by inviting director
UPDATED with Slovak Tourist Board comment - Bratislava, March 15, 2006 (Bratislava-City.sk) - Official Slovak Tourist Board invited the director of Hostel to visit the country and see that its portrayal in the film as a decrepit, dangerous place is unfair, head of the agency said.
"At the European premiere of Hostel representatives of the Slovak Tourist Board handed over an official invitation to film director Eli Roth," head of the Tourist Board Silvia Sulekova Kollarikova told BratislavaGuide.com, a partner server. "The American guest said he would be glad to accept the invitation. He did not specify the dates of his visit," she added.
"I think I have to be a man and go there and face the music," director Eli Roth was quoted by Reuters as saying. He also apologised to Slovaks for depicitng them as maniacs.
In later reports, Roth appeared to backtrack, saying he was scared to visit. "I have a feeling that now I've made the film, I will get beaten and tortured in Slovakia," virgin.net Movie News section quoted him as saying.
Following the disastrous portrayal of Bratislava as a terrifying hole in 2005 Eurotrip movie, which caused dismay among locals, the city's appearance in the 2006 blockbuster horror movie angered many Slovaks. "I feel apalled, disapointed and humiliated...Slovakia was again depicted in the film as a backward and poor country and what is worse, our beautiful girls were portrayed as the ultimate whores," Jozef Uhlar, a blogger and prominent Slovak artist, wrote in his blog at uhlar.sme.blog.sk.
"Naturally, the way Bratislava and Slovakia is depicted in the film is offensive and absurd for any judicious person," Milan Vajda, head of Bratislava's Communication Department told BratislavaGuide.com.
The plot of the film produced by Quentin Tarantino and filmed mostly in Prague, Czech Republic takes place in Bratislava. The main heroes make their way there from Amsterdam following a recommendation that it is packed with beautiful women.
But sweaty sex with gorgeous scantily clad Slovak hostel roommates (played by young Czech and Slovak actresses) leads up to the main characters being whisked to a torture dungeon to undergo grueling treatment by an international crowd of sickos paying for the action.
The City of Bratislava, according to Vajda, had no immediate plans for legal action against the makers of Hostel. "I believe that quality work of all involved in incoming tourism in Bratislava and Slovakia can in the end be much more effective than chasing expensive lawyers of Hollywood film-makers in courts," he said. He cited the 25 percent increase in the number of tourists in 2004 and the subsequent 8 percent increase in 2005 as evidence of success in gradually building up Bratislava's image.