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Charlatan

Czech Republic | 118 min. | Agnieszka Holland

July 23 - September 2, 2021

Based on the true story of Czech healer Jan Mikolášek who dedicated his life to treating the sick using medicinal plants. Throughout the war and turmoil of the 20th century he has to choose between his calling and his conscience. Shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best International Film 2021.

Few true stories tread the thin line between good and evil as precariously as that of Jan Mikolášek, a 20th century Czech herbal healer whose great success masked the grimmest of secrets. Mikolášek won fame and fortune treating celebrities of the interwar, Nazi, and Communist eras with his uncanny knack for “urinary diagnosis.” But his passion for healing welled up form the same source as a lust for cruelty, sadism, and an incapacity for love that only one person could ever quell—his assistant, František. As a show trial threatens to pry open these secrets and undo him, Jan’s dichotomies are put to a final test, with the fate of his life’s only love in the balance. A personal tale as replete with twists as the century itself, and a reflection on the price one pays for single-mindedly following one’s calling.

  • Director: Agnieszka Holland
  • Principal Cast: Ivan Trojan, Josef Trojan, Juraj Loj
  • Country: Czech Republic, Ireland, Poland, Slovakia
  • Running Time: 118 min.
  • Producer: Šárka Cimbalová, Kevan Van Thompson
  • Screenplay: Marek Epstein
  • Cinematographers: Martin Strba
  • Editors: Pavel Hrdlicka
  • Music: Antoni Komasa-Lazarkiewicz
  • Language: Czech, German
  • Has Subtitles: Yes