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The Cremator



A cult film that was forbidden during the Communist regime. Considered one of the greatest films ever made in Czechoslovakia. This black comedy is set in Central Europe during World War II and revolves around a demented cremator who believes cremation relieves earthly suffering and sets out to save the world. 

Czechoslovak New Wave director Juraj Herz based his grotesque psychological horror masterpiece on the perspective of its deranged protagonist. Karel Kopfrkingl, brilliantly played by Rudolf Hrusinsky, starts as a model father and dedicated employee of a Prague crematorium and turns into a man willing to sacrifice everything, including his closest family, for the sake of a degenerate ideology. The film has a unique visual style developed by its cinematographer Stanislav Milota, who succeeds in moulding the visual and literary components into a new unity, taking the genre of the film onto a philosophical level. 

SHOWTIMES | Special Guest: Prof. Petr Kopecky

Friday, 24 November – 19:00

SPALOVAC MRTVOL | 1969 | 97 min | Czechoslovakia

PRODUCTIONLadislav Hanu – Filmove studio Barrandov, Sebor
CASTRudolf Hrusinsky, Vlasta Chramostova, Jana Stehnova, Milos Vognic, Jiri Menzel
SCREENPLAYLadislav Fuks, Juraj Herz
EDITINGJaromir Janacek
LANGUAGECzech, Hebrew


Sitges – Catalonian International Film Festival, 1972 – Best Film, Best Actor, Best Cinematography | Czechoslovakian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 42nd Academy Awards


Juraj Herz (b. 1934, Kezmarok – 2018, Prague) was a famous Slovak film director, actor, and scene designer, associated with the Czechoslovak New Wave movement of the 1960s. Selected filmography: The Junk Shop (1965, short), The Sign of Cancer (1966), The Cremator (1968), Oil Lamps (1971), Morgiana (1972), Girls from the Porcelain Factory (1974), The Ninth Heart (1978), Ferat Vampire (1981), A Magpie in the Hand (1983), Passage (1996), Darkness (2009), Habermann (2010).