Bathory (Slovakia/CZ/UK/HU, 2008)

directed by Juraj Jakubisko, historical drama, 140 min, English version

with Anna Friel, Vincent Regan, Hans Matheson, Karel Roden, Boleslav Polívka, Deana Jakubisková-Horváthová, Jiří Mádl, Lucie Vondráčková, Franco Nero



trailer (short)

making of


In his newest film, the famous Slovak director Juraj Jakubisko offers a new perspective of the tale of the cruel Countess Elizabeth Bathory that has been recounted by many historians and art people in the past. According to the tradition, Bathory was the greatest murderess in history, as documented by an entry in the Guinness Book of Records. In his film Jakubisko diametrically opposes the established legend and lets her appear as a renaissance woman destroyed by rumours. After researching historical documents, he decided to make a story reflecting real dates and facts and where historical evidence was not available, he only engaged his own imagination. Neither a horror story, nor a boring historiography, it is rather a thriller about district administrator Thurzo, Countess Bathory and her unfulfilled love for a famous Italian painter. The idea and the intention are simple. It is easy to become a victim of rumours and scheming. But it may take centuries to set the story straight again.

The legend says that she tortured her victims, exclusively young women, before she killed them. She used to bathe in their blood to preserve her eternal youth and beauty. She allegedly tore the flesh from their bodies with her teeth while they were still alive. But is it really true? Can one rely only on legends when in four centuries, no historical document was found to reveal the events as they had happened.

The most successful Slovak movie of all times.


Czech Lion 2008 (Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Most Successful Film)

Monaco Charity Film Festival 2010 (Outstanding Artistic Achievement)Slovak National Film Awards 2010 (Best Leading Actress, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design)