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Little Crusader


In southern Italy, a knight searches for his son who has joined the Children’s Crusade in this unusual, visually evocative take on the Middle Ages.

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Dir-Prod Václav Kadrnka
Scr Jiří Soukup, Vojtěch Mašek, Václav Kadrnka
With Karel Roden, Aleš Bílík, Matouš John
Czech Republic-Slovakia-Italy
Prod Co Sirius Films

In his award-winning third film, Czech director Václav Kadrnka combines a spiritual quest with an unorthodox take on the medieval era. Enthralled by stories of the Children’s Crusade, a small boy dons a suit of armour, leaves his parents sleeping and sets off into the unknown. His father, the knight Bořek, is soon in pursuit. As his search for his son continues, the film turns towards the man’s inner reality as the landscape he traverses increasingly mirrors his own psychological state. Poetic, low key and featuring minimal dialogue, Little Crusader is a refreshing antidote to the majority of contemporary cinema. Filmed in Southern Italy – Puglia, Calabria – and Sardinia, locations inextricably linked to the crusades, the film’s use of selective image, sound and rhythm recalls the work of Bresson and, occasionally, Tarkovsky. There’s also a striking score by Irena and Vojtěch Havel.

Peter Hames

Additional information

The screening on Mon 9 Oct has English language subtitles

Festival guests

These members of the filmmaking team are expected to attend the festival:

  • Václav Kadrnka, Director; Karel Roden, Cast

See the full list of visiting festival guests. Please note that we can't guarantee guest attendance at any particular screening.


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