Directed by Vojtěch Jasný • 1963 • Czechoslovakia
Starring Jan Werich, Emília Vášáryová, Vlastimil Brodský
In this modern-day fairy tale and rediscovered Czech New Wave cult classic, an ordinary Bohemian village is visited by a magician (Jan Werich), his beautiful assistant (Emília Vásáryová), and a magic cat with the power to reveal people in colors that indicate their true natures: yellow for the unfaithful, purple for liars, red for lovers like Robert (Vlastimil Brodský), a bighearted schoolteacher whose independence of thought places him at odds with the town’s conservative authorities. When the cat reveals the villagers as they really are and the town descends into whimsical chaos, humorless school principal Karel (Jiří Sovák) vows to hunt down the feline and put an end to its anarchic reign. Ahead of its time in experimenting with stylized color and extended political metaphor, THE CASSANDRA CAT is director Vojtěch Jasný’s triumphant excursion into fantasy as a mirror of real-life social divisions and hypocrisies.