The Noonday Witch
Cezch Republic. 2016. 90 min.
Cast: Anna Geislerová, Karolina Lipowska, Zdenek Mucha.
The Noonday Witch is based on a traditional Czech tale and tells the story of a mother, Eliska, and her eight-year-old daughter, Anetka. Both move to a remote country home to start a new life together after the father’s death in strange circumstances, but Eliska insists that the girl’s father is “out on business.” The daughter discovers the truth and from that moment their relationship deteriorates. Then, the mythical creature of The Noonday Witch begins to appear and when the frightening figure approaches the pair, a terrifying question arises. Is it a real danger or is it all in the crumbling head of the mother? It is an unsettling movie that treats feelings of pain for the loss and power of self-deception.
Jiří Sádek (1989) studied at the secondary school affiliated to the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. He continued his education at the Miroslav Ondříček Film Academy in Písek, specialising in audiovisual production. His short film Don’t Speak Too Soon (Neříkej hop, 2010) was nominated for a Magnesia Award in the student film category in 2010 and won numerous accolades at domestic festivals, including the Audience Award at the Filmmakers to Watch event organised by Nova TV. His next short film Mr. Late (Pan pozdě, 2011) was also nominated for a Magnesia Award and won Best Film and Best Screenplay at the International Student Festival in Písek, for which Sádek filmed the trailer the following year. His filmography to date includes another two shorts, Cave of Dogs (Psí jeskyně, 2012) and Quantum (2013). The Noonday Witch (2016) is his feature film debut.