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Charlatan (Czech: Šarlatán) directed by Agnieszka Holland
Charlatan (Czech: Šarlatán) directed by Agnieszka Holland

The Czech biographical drama Charlatan (Czech: Šarlatán) directed by Agnieszka Holland has been selected by the Czech Film and Television Academy (CFTA) to represent Czech Republic in the Oscars’ 2021 race for Best International Feature Film.

Charlatan premiered at Berlin International Film Festival, and tells the story of Czech healer Jan Mikolášek (1889-1973) who cured hundreds of people using plant-based remedies. The film was inspired by the life story of the healer Jan Mikolášek played in the film by Ivan Trojan. The younger Mikolášek is played by Trojan’s own 18-year-old son, Josef Trojan.

The film is the true story of Jan Mikolášek, a well-known and successful Czech healer, who diagnosed and healed people using his intuition and his familiarity with plants. His remedies and prescriptions, although mostly plant-based, included lifestyle and dietary changes. He healed not only poor people from the villages but also many well-known people, including the Czechoslovakian president, Antonin Zápotocký.

“From the moment I read the script I thought the story was quite strong, full of a certain mystery,” Holland said. “This story has grown for several years,” she added.

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