Archive of films Bathory / Bathory

Slovak Republic / Czech Republic / United Kingdom / Hungary
2008, 140 min

Section: Tribute to Juraj Jakubisko
Year: 2008

Passionate embraces, raw details from the battlefield, sweeping landscape panoramas, a newborn baby frozen into a block of ice, a dreamlike scene from a Monteverdi opera – these are the images which are branded on the emotional memory of the viewer. The film hovers between historical fresco and ballad, told with the vividness of the canvases of Caravaggio, a painter who makes a surprise appearance as one of the characters in this vital drama about the “Lady of Csejte”…


In his latest film, Juraj Jakubisko returns home to Slovakia, to distant history and a time when his country was fighting a fierce battle with the Turks who tried to penetrate via Hungary further into the heart of Christian Europe. Amidst these dramatic events unfolding at the close of the 16th century, a tortuous story begins of the proud and beautiful Countess Bathory who became known as the infamous Lady of Csejte (Čachtice). Elizabeth Bathory, who was said to have bathed in the blood of virgins in order to preserve her youth… This is a character who, in Jakubisko’s mind, ideally incorporates history, legend and colourful fiction, all merging together in a fresco lasting over two hours. The sinister reputation of a blood-thirty monster is shifted to one side, allowing the haunting beauty of Anna Friel, the English actress playing Elizabeth, to steer the chronicle of her dramatic life in a different direction. We see her as a woman who, thanks to her intelligence, will and great emotional depth, grows into an unusually strong person. Strong with respect to her love for her children, her husband and her lover, her staunch Protestant faith and her courage to compete for power and assets with her scheming, influential enemies. Jakubisko unfurls an expansive historical canvas depicting the evocative political and social atmosphere of the era, and from here he contemplates the harsh fate of an individual who outshone those around her and was thus exposed to ruinous accusations. The film also contains elements of horror, thriller, romance, ballad and even playful comedy. Yet what is most compelling and what weaves all these details together in a stunning tapestry is Jakubisko’s visual poetry, recasting the past, real and imaginary, into a fascinating delusion.


Jakubisko Film s.r.o.
Palác Lucerna, 116 02, Praha 1
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 296 23 65 00
Fax: +420 296 236 383
E-mail: [email protected]

Bontonfilm, a.s.
Na Poříčí 1047/26, 110 00, Praha 1
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 257 415 111
Fax: +420 257 415 113
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, 35 mm
World premiere

Section: Tribute to Juraj Jakubisko
Director: Juraj Jakubisko
Screenplay: Juraj Jakubisko
Dir. of Photography: F.A. Brabec, Ján Ďuriš
Music: Jan Jirásek, Simon Boswell, Petr Hapka, Andrej Turok, Martin Maok Tesák
Editor: Christopher Blunden
Producer: Deana Jakubisková
Production: Jakubisko Film s.r.o.
Cast: Anna Friel, Karel Roden, Hans Matheson, Deana Horváthová, Vincent Regan, Franco Nero, Anthony Byrne, Bolek Polívka, Tim Precce, Jiří Mádl, Lucie Vondráčková
Contact: Jakubisko Film s.r.o., Bontonfilm, a.s.
Distributor: Bontonfilm, a.s.


Juraj Jakubisko

Film Director / Producer

Deana Jakubisková


F.A. Brabec

Film Director

Jiří Mádl

Actor, Actor, Actor

Lise Middleton


Markéta Zahradníková


Radovan Auer


Karel Roden


Aleš Danielis


Marek Jeníček

Distributor, Producer

Michal Kroupa

Distributor, Distributor

Jan Ďuriš

Director of Photography, Film Institution Rep.


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