JAN ZIZKA

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Historical drama, Action, Biography


Director                              Petr Jákl
Producer                              Petr Jákl, Steven J. Brown
Screenplay                              Petr Jákl
Based on the previous screenplay by Marek Dobeš and Michal Petruš
Story Kevin Bernhardt
Collaboration on the script Petr Bok
Script Editor Ivo Trajkov, Tomáš Feřtek
Historian Prof. Jaroslav Čechura


“He, who is decent, is always decent. He, who was faithful, is faithful even now. He, who spins with the wind, spun with the wind before. He, who thinks that now his time has come, always thought only of himself. No one becomes a defector, unless he always was a defector. He, who changes his faith, had none to begin with. You cannot change a man - he will only become more colourful.”  

 (Karel Čapek, famous Czech writer - Lidové noviny, 1938)

The film is inspired by the true story of one of the greatest generals of his time, the undefeated John Zizka of Trocnov, who became a legend because of his actions.

Europe at the end of the 14th century. Everything that Charles IV, Roman Emperor and Czech King, has built is falling apart. The foundations of centuries-old orders are shaking. The Emperor's first-born son and successor, Wenceslas IV, is too weak a monarch for such a time. Two popes are struggling for power over the Church, the German nobility have been fighting with each other and the Czech nobility is only worried about itself. Avarice and the right of the stronger have prevailed.  

A major magnate in the country, Henry of Rosenberg, gains control of the courts of the free squires one after another. Yet one of them stands up to confront him, and his name is John Zizka. For many years, Zizka was a hired knight who fought for the interests of others. He is a member of king’s brother’s guards, a knight and a future chieftain of the Hussite troops. Now he will use all of his acquired experience and he will fight for himself, for his rights and for revenge - he does not want to, and cannot come to terms with the seeming impunity of the magnate upon whose order almost all of the members of his family were murdered. 

Now the magnate will learn just how mighty the little squire can be. He will watch in horror as his own daughter Catherine falls in love with Zizka. Thanks to Catherine, John Zizka learns of the treacherous agreement between Rosenberg and the Lords’ Union to overthrow the king

The unveiled betrayal is the last straw that will bring down the avalanche of the king's wrath, who immediately commands a punitive expedition against Rosenberg. In return, the Lords’ Union sets the scene for an unheard of act – to kidnap the king 

Although the expedition of the king’s troops manages to free the king from captivity, he is forced to make degrading peace with his enemies.

John Zizka finds himself between the rock and the hard place - he must either betray his beliefs and abandon the struggle for justice and accept a higher position at the royal court, or to continue his struggle for justice and remain alone and abandoned.

What more must Zizka sacrifice to reach his goal? Will he be able to convince himself that his decision, no matter how incomprehensible for many, is the only right decision to make?

A story about outlaw John Zizka brings drama, strong emotions and a view of our history that has long been missing. The film takes us back to the period that preceded the outburst of Hussite fanaticism; it is a film about the power of passion, revenge and the meaning of the struggle for justice.

A film from the dawn of the undefeated Czech leader John Zizka of Trocnov.