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Cinema program "Charlatan" in Kraków
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Original title: Charlatan
Runtime: 118 min.
Production: Czechy/Irlandia/Słowacja/Polska , 2020
Release Date: 2 October 2020
Distribution: Gutek Film
Directed by: Agnieszka Holland
Cast: Jan Vlasak, Joachim Paul Assbock, Ivan Trojan
The most important Polish director and at the same time one of the greatest authors of world cinema returns, based on facts, made on a grand scale, "Charlatan". Debuting at this year's Berlinale, where it was considered one of the best films of the festival, Agnieszka Holland's film is an excellent, unconventional and incredibly sensual story about a man who wanted to tame nature. The creator of the Oscar nominees "In Darkness" and "Europe, Europe", as well as "Citizen Jones" and "Pokot", gathers here the most important threads of her work: she takes the figure of a genius, observes the relationship between man and nature, observes faith which works miracles and is once again our guide through the paradoxes of the 20th century. By drawing a surprising love story, it reminds us of how easily love can turn into its own opposite.
Although it takes place in the past, "Charlatan" is a very contemporary film - just like its hero, the herbalist Jan Mikolášek, for whom nature is the remedy for human suffering. Her powerful powers can heal the body, but in the film Holland is also a space for true freedom for the spirit. Only in connection with it can we understand and accept who we really are. Mikolášek's almost alchemical knowledge of the properties of herbs, and his amazing gift of penetrating the human interior, attract thousands of needy people to his clinic. But this gift also has its dark side.
By recalling the legendary figure of the Czech herbalist, the director brings to light his secrets, emotions and desires, for which the only remedy is fanatic devotion to work. "Charlatan" shows that talent can be a curse, and power is always associated with pride. By creating a fascinating, contradictory figure of the healer, Agnieszka Holland escapes from answering the question of whether he was a folk doctor or an ordinary fraud. The truth that interests her concerns our faith in miracles, our longing for authority, our desire to live in harmony with nature - including our own.
text: Paradox Cinema
Movie trailer: Charlatan