This year’s crop of Best International Features has been narrowed down to a shortlist, allowing the Academy voters to have a smaller group of folks to choose from. Charlatan is one of those films. It is the Czech representative for the Best International Feature for the 93rd Academy Awards. It deserved a nomination for sure.
Ivan Trojan & Josef Trojan play older and younger Jan Mikoiasek, a self-taught healer who uses urine and plant-based remedies as well as his own concoctions to heal hundreds of people. These medical practices put him on the radar of local authorities and the Nazis. They don’t like his lack of respect for the medical community. This film is based on a very fascinating true story.
Mikoiasek’s practice has gotten so big that he needed a helper to help him be more efficient in getting through all of his patients. Juraj Loj plays Frantisek Palco, a good-looking young man. That did not hurt his practice. He was a very helpful man to the doctor. Any successful person needs help. This man is a supporter of the doctor, but even supporters can be turned against a savior or friend with the right motivation. That’s a sad fact of life.
This story is a very fascinating one, to say the least. For a man that is so successful, it’s strange that forces are marshaled against him. He has helped so many people, even Nazis. As far as doctors and patients go, when you have so many patients one or two might not be happy. It’s par for the course. These people just don’t like him so they use these cases to attack his personage and his character.
It’s nice to see films about undiscovered stories. WWII has many stories that have been told surrounding these events in the past. Some of these stories are very strange and fascinating. This is one of them. There was so much going on in that war it makes sense strange stories like this can come out in the many years since the war. I applaud the filmmakers for finding and developing this subject matter.
Charlatan is a great film! The subject matter is quite interesting. These types of stories are very interesting. The filmmakers do a great job of fleshing out the lead character and his story. He is a very sympathetic character in a very hard and dark world. There are always haters though and especially during WWII. The Nazis were the worst bad guys in history. This is one of the best films of 2021 even though it’s technically a 2020 film.
Dan Skip Allen
Founder/EIC disappointment media