User Reviews (2)

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  • hof-430 September 2020
    Warning: Spoilers
    The action begins in the starting years of the twentieth century in Podolia, then in the Russian Empire. The Doctor (we never learn his name) is Polish, an utterly unethical physician. He kills a patient with ether trying to rape her and is condemned to death by hanging. In the very last moment, his neck in the noose, his sentence is commuted to banishment to Siberia. He manages to escape and a few years later emerges as a military doctor in a town in Galicia, then in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His "research", worthy of Dr. Mengele, consists of crude, sadistic and often fatal experiments aimed at the manipulation of defenseless human guinea pigs.

    Finally, the postman rings for the second time and he is condemned to death for reasons unrelated to his crimes. This time there is no reprieve and we learn the identity of a mysterious gentleman in black overcoat that had been often present at events for no obvious reason. At this point, it becomes clear that the story is the legend of Faust, although in a much darker version than those of Marlowe or Goethe. We also understand why the opening titles explore in detail Hans Memling's 1467 triptych 'The Last Judgment"

    All in all, an ambitious film that achieves its objectives but is at times repetitive and unfocused. The final balance is positive, however.
  • ops-5253528 December 2020
    Production design, at some stages the grumpy old man fell in to the sets like a broomstick in the corner, thats how realistic it felt. its a historic drama from the 2nd half of the 19th century podolia region, that is geographically shared between southeast poland and western ukraine in todays atlas'es. its a miniateur dr mengele physician, that uses his qualifications to experiment with ether and others compounds , on treatment of all kinds of pain. NO3 is a beloved eteric gas that have been praised by women in labour for ages, and to use and trying out to fix and relieve the patients from their pain is truly a business on life and death..

    its also a spystory woven into this story, the secret story, but see the film to uncloak the dagger of macabria hippocrattica obscura.

    the cast does an extraordinary job at all stages, though the historical timeline are hard to follow, the filmography is of knifeedge sharpness that has been a polish trademark for years, the score are arousing and the staging and production department have made a golden gun to this drama.

    it may feel foreign due to the slavic language and nature, and the political powers unknown to most 150 years has past, so do refresh some geography and history before viewing, that will enhance the gratitude of a well made movie. its a recommend.