Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Sunday
August
10th
2008
10:43 am

Báthory

This movie, reportedly the most expensive Czech movie to date, seems to have polarized opinion here. Some people, particularly English-speaking men, assure me that "Oh, it’s terrible. Don’t bother". Others, mostly Czech women, enthusiastically endorse it. So, since the English language version is showing in Prague, I had to go see it for myself.

Elizabeth Báthory is described as "possibly the most prolific serial killer in history". Director Juraj Jakubisko, however, takes the stance that she was, in effect, framed by a neighboring noble who lusted after her and her lands (not necessarily in that order).

Some of his attempts to explain away charges made against Báthory were a little forced, and the whole Catholic monk subplot was particularly ludicrous. Nonetheless, I’m now willing to believe that Báthory’s charaterization as the "Blood Countess" may indeed have be overstating the case.

My favorite line from the movie arises after the (Protestant) pastor of Báthory’s parish meets the (Catholic) monks sent by the bishop to investigate allegations. Walking away from their meeting, the pastor mutters, "Anywhere the Devil can’t go, he sends Catholics".

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