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Slovak Studies Program

Martin Votruba









Juraj Jakubisko's stated goal with Báthory was to cleanse the historical Countess Elizabeth Báthory of her legend that has her take baths in the blood of virgins to preserve her youth and beauty. With limited and contradictory early 17th-century sources, his screenplay conjured up a new, filmic myth about her with the help of actual historical background that involved the Protestant Kingdom of Hungary's resistance to its annexation and forceful Catholicization by the Habsburgs, and both sides' joint defense against the encroaching Muslim Ottoman Empire. Báthory still strives to cater to the expectations of gore stemming from the popular legend by placing some within hallucinatory sequences, and to the fans of Jakubisko's early art house films with insertions of whimsical shots, like the three musicians in this clip, with no readily decipherable connection to the scene.


Slovak cinema after World War II.


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