Jan Mikolášek is the epitome of aplomb and solidarity. He is talented, sensitive, assertive and enigmatic. In his youth and when he is older, regardless of whether he is in private or public, he is a man of action, reason and intuition. A faith healer. Just one glance at the urine bottle is enough for him to know what ails his patient. With fame comes fortune, and this at a time when Czechoslovakia is a pawn in a game being played by the major power blocs. Protected and used by both the National Socialist and Communist regimes, he steps in wherever the system fails. But during the post-Stalinist years, the political climate becomes unpredictable and his special status is endangered. Along with his assistant František, with whom, as the secret police are well aware, he has much more in common than herbal medicine, the charlatan finds his morals being put to the test. Based on the life of Jan Mikolášek (1889–1973), and with a screenplay by Marek Epstein, Agnieszka Holland once again explores the link between the private and the political, and the relationship between the passage of time and the story of an unconventional individual.
by Agnieszka Holland
with Ivan Trojan, Josef Trojan, Juraj Loj, Jaroslava Pokorná
Czechia / Ireland / Poland / Slovakia 2020 Czech 118’ Colour World premiere


  • Ivan Trojan (Jan Mikolášek)
  • Josef Trojan (Young Jan Mikolášek)
  • Juraj Loj (František Palko)
  • Jaroslava Pokorná (Mülbacherová)


Director Agnieszka Holland
Screenplay Marek Epstein
Cinematography Martin Štrba
Montage Pavel Hrdlička
Music Antoni Komasa-Łazarkiewicz
Sound Design Radim Hladík Jr.
Production Design Milan Býček
Costumes Katarína Štrbová-Bieliková
Make-Up René Stejskal, Gabriela Poláková
Assistant Directors Pavel Svatoň
Production Manager Filip Brouk
Producers Šárka Cimbalová, Kevan Van Thompson
Executive Producer Aleš Týbl
Co-Producers Mike Downey, Sam Taylor, Klaudia Śmieja-Rostworowska, Livia Filusová
Co-Production F&ME Dublin
Madants Warschau
Furia Film Bratislava
Czech Television Prag
RTVS Bratislava
Barrandov Studio Prag
Studio Métrage Bydgoszcz
CertiCon Prag
Magiclab Prag

Agnieszka Holland

Born in Warsaw, Poland in 1948, she graduated from the FAMU film school in Prague and began her career assisting Krzysztof Zanussi and Andrzej Wajda. She collaborated with Krzysztof Kieślowski on the screenplay of his Three Colors trilogy. Her film Gorączka screened in Competition at the Berlinale in 1981, the year in which she emigrated to Paris. Since then she has made over 30 films, winning awards including the Golden Globe and a Berlinale Silver Bear, and being nominated for a BAFTA and an Emmy. Her films In Darkness, Europa Europa and Angry Harvest were all nominated for an Academy Award.

Filmography (selection)

1979 Aktorzy prowincjonalni (Provinzschauspieler) 1981 Gorączka (Fieber) · Kobieta samotna (Eine alleinstehende Frau) 1985 Bittere Ernte (Angry Harvest) 1988 To Kill a Priest (Der Priestermord) 1990 Hitlerjunge Salomon (Europa, Europa) · Hitlerjunge Salomon (Europa Europa) 1991 Largo desolato · Largo Desolato 1992 Olivier, Olivier 1993 The Secret Garden (Der geheime Garten) 1995 Total Eclipse 1997 Washington Square 1999 The Third Miracle (Das dritte Wunder) 2002 Julie Walking Home 2006 Copying Beethoven (Klang der Stille) 2009 Janosik. Prawdziwa Historia (Janosik. The Real Story) · Janosik. Prawdziwa historia (Janosik. The Real Story) 2011 In Darkness 2015 House of Cards; TV series, 2 episodes 2017 Pokot (Spoor) 2019 Mr. Jones 2020 Charlatan

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020