Witchhammer

1970

Drama / History / Horror

105
IMDb Rating 7.9 10 1,617

Synopsis


Downloaded times
June 15, 2020

Director

Cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
980.48 MB
1280*720
Czech 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
103 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.78 GB
1920×1080
Czech 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
103 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by JHC3 10 / 10 / 10

Superb

In a Czech town in the seventeenth century, an elderly woman enters a church to accept communion. Her true purpose is to collect the holy host for a midwife who needs it to treat an ailing dairy cow. The woman is caught and is forced to explain her sacrilegious actions. Religious and secular authorities agree that she is in league with witches and may even be a witch herself. This prompts an inquisition where confessions are obtained through threats and torture. A tribunal is held to provide a legal facade. Though the hunt is initially confined to the impoverished fringes of local society, the hysteria soon expands to the point that no one, not even leading citizens, is safe. The ultimate target is a clergyman, Deacon Lautner, who defies the righteous men of the tribunal. Based on actual trial records from the 1678 to 1695 period, this well made Czech film features excellent performances and strong production values. It is somewhat extreme by 1969 standards.

Reviewed by Borec 10 / 10 / 10

Critique of the Unbridled Power of the State

Possible Spoilers Within. I might be presuming too much about the intentions of the film makers, but given the time period of the films release, following the Prague Spring and the short-lived relaxation of the censors, this film is a clear condemnation of the Stalinist state, or at least of an autocratic regime. There are so many positive qualities to this film it is hard to comment fully on it. However, the film does depict the main inquisitioner as a man driven by avarice, greed and power. Connivingly, he used his power to usurp judicial and law-enforcing power from the town and tortured "witnesses" and "criminals" into submission, thereby being able to take their property from them as "payment" for the trials. Unfortunately, the film maker could have illustrated the pain of torture more, but he possibly might have had problems with the censors, even given the relaxation, or he might not have wanted to offend the viewer. Further, the total inaction by the Austrian government tends to make the viewer of a Kafka- esquire government, in which the people's rights and pleas go unheard. This film, if anything, astutely illustrates the power of the state and its propensity toward abuse, if gone unchecked. Also, I was constantly reminded of the US's current problem with torture in the Middle East. Who is to declare the "Truth" in such murky circumstances. One of the Guards, who supplied a running monologue throughout the film, added another layer of If you don't know Czech, you might lose a little meaning in the subtitles, but the film is still worth watching, regardless.

Reviewed by josephbrando 10 / 10 / 10

Beautifully Excruciating

I've seen many movies about the persecution of witches in medieval times, but this one rightly stands on top of that pile, surpassing even peer masterpieces "Mark of the Devil" and "Witchfinder General". The cinematography is gorgeous, the writing is smart and sophisticated, the performances are excellent, and the story itself is gut-wrenching and brutal. Rarely do horror films haunt my mind like this Czech production did. With its roots based in historical fact, the true evils of mankind certainly are much more diabolical than any conjured up monster or serial killer. It is quite an experience to watch a movie that is simultaneously, strikingly, so beautiful and yet so harrowing.

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