Charlatan | 2021 Freedom of Expression Award Agnieszka Holland

Our Freedom of Expression recipient Agnieszka Holland was born in Warsaw, Poland. She studied film directing at FAMU in Prague. Her film career began by working in Poland with Krzysztof Zanussi as assistant director and with Andrzej Wajda as her mentor. She wrote several scripts with Wajda before directing her own films, gaining notoriety as part of the Polish New Wave.  Her films were soon winning awards at major festivals such as Cannes, Berlin and the Golden Globe Awards. She is best known in the United States for her Oscar-Nominated "Angry Harvest", "Europa, Europa", "Olivier, Olivier" and "The Secret Garden". In 2011 she directed “In Darkness” which was then nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign language film. Around 2004, Holland turned to television and has directed episodes of The Wire, The Killing, Treme and House of Cards. In 2020 she was elected President of the European Film Academy.

JFI is proud to present our annual Freedom of Expression award to this distinguished, prolific and brilliant filmmaker.

NOTE: This ticket is for the film and Freedom of Expression award presentation preceding the screening.

Legendary Polish filmmaker and recipient of SFJFF's Freedom of Expresson Award, Agnieszka Holland's newest film is a richly drawn biopic of Czech healer Jan Mikolášek who rose to fame through his uncanny ability to diagnose disease with a mere glance at the patient's urine. Treating all who entered his clinic, from the poor to the nazis during the German occupation to the communist regime that follows, is he an unorthodox healer ahead of his time or a mere charlatan?

Possessing a strong intuition, but not a medical degree, Mikolášek was trained in herbalism. With his unconventional plant based medicine, he boasted a thriving and successful practice and enjoyed all the power that this special status conferred. A complexly troubled man with a desperate need to heal, but also to control, he barely tolerates those who seek his help. When he enters into a passionate love affair with his affable assistant Frantisek he feels the first stirrings of love but things become dangerous when they fall under investigation after the death of Czechoslovakia’s Communist president Antonín Zápotocký who was under his care. When Frantisek and a defiant Mikolášek are ultimately put on trial, Mikolášek must decide how far he'll sacrifice his humanity to cure humankind.

Filmmaker & 2021 Freedom of Expresson Award Winnter Agnieszka Holland

NOTE: This film is available nationwide

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