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Witchhammer 15 rating

A notorious 17th-century witch trial turns into a powerful allegory of life under totalitarian rule, in this chilling Czech political fable.

Historical drama 1969 102 mins

Director: Otakar Vávra



In a small Czech village, an investigation into a simple superstition quickly becomes a full-blown witch trial, unleashing a tide of hysteria and cruelty, in this powerful allegory of life under totalitarian rule. Otakar Vávra’s film draws on original court transcripts and forced confessions, revealing the malevolence of the Inquisitors who exorcise their own greed and lust through gruesome torture and execution.

With beautiful, stark cinematography echoing Bergman, Dreyer, Ken Russell's The Devils (1971) and Michael Reeves' Witchfinder General (1968), Witchhammer transcends horror to create a chilling political fable, revealing power to be the ultimate weapon of evil.