Walter Iuzzolino has landed his favorite-ever TV series for streamer Walter Presents: Agnieszka Holland’s “Burning Bush,” the HBO Europe original that he says inspired him to launch his foreign-language on-demand service in the first place.
Iuzzolino curates, and is the face of, the service, selecting what gets bought and presenting it to viewers on screen. A global drama expert, he ranks “Burning Bush” as the best scripted series out there.
“Something about this piece touched me in such a way that I can confidently say it is the very best thing I have ever seen,” he told Variety. “This was true when I saw it four years ago and is true today.”
The Czech series will launch on Walter Presents in the U.K. later this month. It runs to three 90-minute installments and originally went out on HBO’s European service as HBO Europe ramped up its investment in original drama. Beta Film distributes and did the U.K. deal.
The series is set in Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia in the late 1960s and examines events surrounding the death of student protester Jan Pallach and his family’s subsequent fight for justice. It was filmed on location and made by Czech production company Nutprodukce.
“Devastated mother and family sue the Russian government who have invaded Czechoslovakia and want to smear the name of her son….It’s not an easy sell, and yet it’s perfection. There’s something incredibly epic and simple and visceral about the way it is portrayed,” Iuzzolino said.
Non-English-language drama is traveling increasingly well, but the Czech Republic is not known internationally for its scripted TV output. “Burning Bush” is, however, Walter Presents’ third Czech acquisition after “The Lens” and “The Invisibles,” both of which hailed from pubcaster CT.
“Burning Bush” will be part of Walter Presents’ year-end lineup, which also includes two series out of the Netherlands, “The Prey” and “The Body Collector”; “Frozen Sky” out of Germany; and French drama “Flight of the Storks.”