Few true stories tread the thin line between good and evil as precariously as that of Jan Mikolášek, a 20th century Czech herbal healer whose great success masked the grimmest of secrets. Discover Mikolášek’s story in Charlatan (118 minutes, Czech and German with English subtitles), which was shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best International Film in 2021. Mikolášek won fame and fortune treating celebrities of the interwar, Nazi, and Communist eras with his uncanny knack for “urinary diagnosis.” But his passion for healing welled up from the same source as a lust for cruelty, sadism, and an incapacity for love that only one person could quell: his assistant, František. As a show trial threatens to pry open these secrets and undo him, Mikolášek’s dichotomies are put to a final test, with the fate of his life’s only love in the balance. This is a personal tale as replete with twists as the 20th century itself, and a reflection on the price one pays for single-mindedly following one’s calling.