This beautifully austere biopic from three-time Oscar nominated director Agnieszka Holland (EUROPA, EUROPA) is inspired by the true story of herbalist Jan Mikolasek, who dedicated his life to caring for the sick despite the immense obstacles he faced in his private and public life.
Born at the turn of the 20th century, Mikolasek wins fame and fortune using unorthodox plant-based treatment methods to cure a wide range of diseases. Already a local institution in Czechoslovakia before World War II, the healer gains in reputation and wealth both during the Nazi occupation and under the Communist rule. One after the other, each regime wants to use his skills and in return give him protection. But after the death of the Czechoslovak president Antonín Zápotocký, who was treated by Mikolasek, he was put on trial by the communist government, who perhaps saw his “charlatanism” as a threat to their own.
“Though shot in the most classic of idioms, the film commands attention with its mesmerizing performances and lively cross-cutting between key moments in the hero’s life.” ~ Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter.
Czech Republic, Ireland, Poland, Slovakia