Saint Sebastian’s Cry is intended to be a live-action
historical feature film with balladic traits. It takes place in 1348
when Europe struggled with the worst plague epidemic to date. This work
aims for the most authentic portrayal of the medieval era, to create a
specific symbolic space where images, dreams and cultural archetypes are
as palpable as beings and items. This is supplemented by specific
setting in two different environments: the fort during the first part of
the film and the forest during the second part. The fort represents
rules and certainty, the forest represents a labyrinth, uneasiness and
constantly present danger.
The plague serves the film as a source of danger that
creates acute situations. The core theme of the film is the (currently
highly topical) racial and religious intolerance, but most importantly
the hatred perceived as a man’s condition causing his self-destruction.
The film’s perspective is neither political nor social. The author’s
view the theme of intolerance as a question bound to each individual.
The heroes undertake a journey both physically and spiritually, the
outer reality merges with the one inside and in turn, the world becomes
a reflection of a man’s spirit. The authors’ intention is to create a
place for illustrative narration and wordless expression of emotions and
affections, in contrast to the current literal and dialogic narrative
A part of the author’s intention is to put a strong
accent on the ambiguity of both main and supporting characters, while
each represents a specific attitude and presents himself with
inconsistent behaviour. This is why one of the film’s governing features
is its composition divided into two parts of different narrative
perspectives. We follow the first part of the film with the character of
Siegfried and his close ones, but in the second part the view leaves the
hero to takes the perspective of his adversaries.
The dramatic plot focuses mainly on two members of lower nobility;
Siegfried, the master of the fort, and Gottfried, a knight in the
service of the bishop. On the basis of his conviction, the rational
Siegfried refuses to accept the persecution of the Jews as a display of
senseless barbarism. Gottfried, on the other hand, fulfils his master’s
orders fanatically. However, under the pressure of dramatic events, both
characters re-evaluate their respective attitudes. Having been
humiliated, Siegfried becomes a relentless executor of vengeance, while
Gottfried experiences an epiphany. This way, the film would not present
unambiguous types and would not allow categorizing the characters in an
easy way based on simplistic moral criteria.