The Aftermath filmed Prague as 1946 Germany
James Kent’s film The Aftermath doubled the streets of Czech capital Prague for Hamburg for a story set in 1946 a few months after the end of the Second World War.
Based on a novel by Rhydian Brook, the story follows main character Rachael who travels to Hamburg to live with her soldier husband who is in charge of rebuilding the war-torn city.
Keira Knightley stars with Jason Clarke and Alexander Skarsgård.
Kent and his production team focused their shoot on a deserted sugar factory in Prague and also used a city street that had already been stripped of its municipal features and dressed it to look like war-damaged Hamburg.
The film was serviced locally by Sirena Film.
Much of the city was levelled by Allied forces during a sustained bombing campaign in the summer of 1943 and Kent wanted to reflect that in his film set.
Pavements, cobblestones and shop front facades were built into the street and extensive rubble was deposited around the factory location.
“We had reference photographs that showed the sheer scale of the rubble and how people continued to live in their homes despite the devastation as they had nowhere to go,” says Sonja Klaus, the film’s production designer.
“People continued to cook and wash and emerged looking as immaculate as they could to go to work.”
Exteriors of the Hamburg house where Rachael and her husband live were shot at a property outside Prague. Kent and his team filmed interiors in Hamburg itself using a house that was suitably spacious, conveying the wealth of the owners while also more easily accommodating Kent’s crew.
The Czech Republic is long-established as a popular European production hub. Prague also doubled for Germany in Taika Waititi’s wartime feature Jojo Rabbit last year, while the northern city of Liberec hosted scenes for Marvel’s superhero movie Spider-Man: Far From Home.
International TV series spent €125m on Czech-based shoots through the course of 2018, according to figures from the Czech Film Commission.
See KFTV's production guide for more on filming in the Czech Republic.
Main page image: FreeImages.com/Sona Psotova