In this richly drawn portrait, celebrated Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Holland (Europa, Europa, Spoor) manifests the riveting life and work of Czech herbalist and faith healer Jan Mikolášek, who cured hundreds with natural remedies. Magnanimous with his abilities, he treated the poor and wealthy alike, never turning away a patient—including the occupying Nazis forces and the president of the country. Yet, it was this last relationship that led to Mikolášek’s downfall, as he was prosecuted for charlatanism by the subsequent Communist government. In yet another incisive historical tale, Holland shines a light on a singular, extraordinary figure and reveals the complexity of—and human susceptibility to—the political machinations of the times.
“Charlatan becomes entangled in its conflicting mesh of traits and time periods, but the film is only able to become more than the sum of its frustrating parts because it embraces those complications in the first place”
Women in Cinema Program Sponsor
John and Jacolyn Bucksbaum Family Foundation