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Johannes Doktor Faust

Czechoslovakia, 1959 (MIFF 1961, Programme 5)

Director: Emil Radok

Here is the Faust story told in the form of a tradi­tional Czech puppet play; it is also an experiment in widescreen techniques. Full of medieval magic and horror, the marvellous old puppet masks seem as effective today as at the time of their original use. The film is based on the medieval puppei play, in which Faust, searching for super-human knowledge, sells his soul to the Devil on the condition that for twenty-four years all his desires shall be satrsfred. The two go through many adventures, of which a brief love affair, and a visit to a royal court, where Faust entertains with magic tricks, are hinted at in the film. Shortly before the contract expires, Faust repents, but in vain — at the appointed hour he dies and the Devil receives his soul.

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