Hexenjagd (1970)

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Hexenjagd: Directed by Otakar Vávra. With Vladimír Smeral, Elo Romancik, Josef Kemr, Sona Valentová. A very popular movie on the medieval persecution of witches (inquisition).

“This film claims historical accuracy, but it seems to be more allegorical than similar films which donu0026#39;t make that claim. Iu0026#39;m still trying to decide how exaggerated some of the u0026quot;confessionsu0026quot; were, but then again this is a period of history I know little about. The Christ figure was interesting, and the parallel was loose enough to be interesting, but it was made too explicit at times to be considered very clever. Explicitly calling one of his u0026quot;friendsu0026quot; a Judas is a little too much. Huxley created a more interesting Christ-figure in u0026quot;Devilu0026#39;s of Loudon,u0026quot; voluptuous, yet gifted and filled with a righteous aim.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eWhat was most interesting to me was how the hypocrisy of those on high was related to the camera. Not in an exaggerated way, but in a way where we are given insight into the decisions being made, and witness the final hypocritical decision. The Queen anxiously touches her neck when she hears that one of the u0026quot;witchesu0026quot; has been strangled, only to gracefully gaze at her complexion in the mirror and fix her makeup. A beautiful symbol of priorities, and how a minor amount of sympathy is trumped by pride. Another scene placed the Inquisitor in a large chair sipping on a snifter of wine, dictating to his secretary a letter describing the trial, asking him to underline how u0026quot;horrifiedu0026quot; they were at what they discovered, when of course, he hardly seems horrified anymore.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThroughout the film is the battle between what to implicitly express visually, and what to explicitly allude to, and they donu0026#39;t often work well together. Still, there are enough scenes which focus on the former to overshadow the latter.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003e3 out of 5 – Some strong elements”

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