Revered filmmaker Agnieszka Holland returns with the stranger-than-fiction true story of a Czech healer who treated millions through his decidedly unorthodox methods.
In CHARLATAN, Ivan Trojan (BURNING BUSH, PFF22) plays Jan Mikolásek, whose little-known story is one of the oddest and most intriguing of the Soviet era. Trained in traditional herbalism and endowed with almost supernatural gifts of intuition, Mikolásek claimed the ability to diagnose a patient’s ailments simply by looking at a vial of his or her urine. In Agnieszka Holland’s deliriously engaging telling, Mikolásek is a man of fascinating contradictions: emotionally frigid yet boasting an almost religious zeal for healing his fellow human beings. CHARLATAN picks up in the post-Stalin era, as the aging healer awaits trial on dubious charges. The film flashes back to key chapters in his life, from his beginnings as a precocious young apprentice to his years amassing wealth and influence. Through the years, he’s accompanied by his doggedly loyal assistant František (Juraj Loj), whose unconventional relationship with Mikolásek raises further eyebrows from the already-wary Communist leadership. In keeping with her subject, Holland’s film bears both the technical skill of a master craftsperson and the defiant idiosyncrasy of a true visionary.
CAST: Ivan Trojan, Josef Trojan, Juraj Loj, Jaroslava Pokorná
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