Des Teufels Bad

The Devil’s Bath
Upper Austria in 1750. A fish pond reflects the overcast sky. A deep, dark forest swallows the sunlight. On a hilltop, the corpse of a hanged woman is displayed. As an example. A warning. An omen? The deeply religious and highly sensitive Agnes regards the dead woman with pity. But also with longing: she feels like a stranger in the world of her husband Wolf, whom she has just married. It is an emotionally cold world consisting of work, chores and expectations. Agnes increasingly withdraws into herself. Her internal prison becomes ever more oppressive, her melancholy more overwhelming. Soon, her only way out seems to be a shocking act of violence.
Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala create a profound and disturbing psychological portrait of a woman made of flesh and bone, sinew and soul, played by Anja Plaschg who, as Soap & Skin, also composed the score. Des Teufels Bad gives a voice to the peasant women who were invisible and unheard at that time and depicts their harsh daily lives defined by religious dogma and taboos whose impact resonates to this day. The film is based on historical court records about a shocking, previously unexplored chapter of European history.
by Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala
with Anja Plaschg, David Scheid, Maria Hofstätter
Austria / Germany 2024 German 121’ Colour World premiere


  • Anja Plaschg (Agnes)
  • David Scheid (Wolf)
  • Maria Hofstätter (Mother-in-Law Gänglin)


Directors Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala
Screenplay Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala
Cinematography Martin Gschlacht
Editing Michael Palm
Music Soap&Skin
Sound Design Matz Müller
Sound Andreas Hildebrandt
Production Design Andreas Donhauser, Renate Martin
Costumes Tanja Hausner
Make-Up Judith Kröher Falch, Tünde Kiss-Benke, Roman Braunhofer
Casting Henri Steinmetz
Producer Ulrich Seidl
Executive Producers Ulrich Seidl, Bettina Brokemper
Co-Producer Bettina Brokemper
Co-Production Heimatfilm Köln

Produced by

Ulrich Seidl Filmproduktion

Veronika Franz & Severin Fiala

Veronika Franz was born in Vienna, Austria in 1965 and began her career as a film journalist. Since 1997, she has worked with the director and film producer Ulrich Seidl as an associate artist and screenwriter. Severin Fiala was born in 1985 and studied screenwriting and directing at the Film Academy Vienna. The two first worked together on the documentary Kern, about the actor and director Peter Kern. They then made the psycho thriller Goodnight Mommy, which premiered at Venice in 2014, and the 2019 English-language film The Lodge.

Filmography (selection)

2012 Kern; documentary 2014 Dreh und Trink; documentary · Ich seh ich seh (Goodnight Mommy) 2017 Sünderinnen vom Höllfall (The Field Guide to Evil – The Sinful Women of Höllfall) 2019 The Lodge 2021 Servant; series, 1 Episode 2022 Servant; series, 1 Episode 2024 Des Teufels Bad (The Devil’s Bath)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2024