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The Devil’s Bath (2024) | Transcript

Austria in the 18th century. Forests surround villages. Killing a baby gets a woman sentenced to death. Agnes readies for married life with her beloved. But her mind and heart grow heavy. A gloomy path alone, evil thoughts arising.

The Devil’s Bath (2024)
Original title:
Des Teufels Bad
Genre: Horror, Mystery, History
Countries: Austria, Germany
Language: German
Running time: 2h 1m
Release dates: 20 February 2024 (Berlinale), 8 March 2024 (Austria)

Directors: Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz
Stars: Anja Plaschg, Maria Hofstätter, David Scheid, Natalija Baranova, Lukas Walcher

Plot: 18th century Austria. Villages surrounded by deep forests. A woman is sentenced to death after killing a baby. Agnes is marrying her loved one and candidly prepares herself for a spouse life. Soon after, her head and heart start to feel heavy. Day after day, she is increasingly trapped in a murky and lonely path leading to evil thoughts. Maybe not just thoughts…

* * *

Based on historical records Upper Austria, 1750

Christoph, come now!

Go on!

I’ve committed a crime.

The Devil’s Bath

“As my troubles left me weary of this life, it came to me to commit a murder.”

So many blades of grass in the fields

So many leaves in the forest

So many tongues on earth

So many times you deserve our praise

Blessed Mary

Blessed Mary!

Come now!

You’ll be late for your wedding.

Hurry up!

Hold it!

Wolf!

Agnes, your hand!

Wolf!

Play!

One!

Two!

A step ahead.

Three!

To the right!

Four!

Five!

Dammit!

Next!

Spin!

You can’t spin me fast enough.

Once more!

There you go!

And…

one!

And two!

Move forward!

Three!

There you are!

I have something to show you. Come.

Just look!

Wait a sec.

Hold still!

What is it?

Just wait!

You’ll see.

What now?

I’ll show you.

Just wait.

Hold my hand.

Watch out, a stone.

Careful!

Hold on.

You can see.

No.

I can tell.

Slowly. Slowly!

I’ve got you.

We’re almost there.

Downhill?

Yeah.

A bit more.

Down here.

Wait, careful!

Hold it!

Are we there?

I don’t want you to fall.

Look.

Where are we?

The ponds are there.

Mother lives up there.

We’re moving here?

Don’t you like it?

I thought we’d stay with your mother.

My brother will inherit the farm

sooner or later.

I bought it for us.

What did it cost?

The money I had

and the dowry and…

I borrowed 200 gulden.

200?

Don’t you like it?

How will we ever pay it back?

Come, let me show you.

Watch out!

Well?

Nice.

It’s big.

Mother brought us a few things.

You’ll find room for them.

There are stones.

Yes.

We can put the altar there.

Yeah.

And there,

you can cook.

For little ones, when they come…

there’s room.

A fine hearth.

The bedchamber.

Do you like it?

It’s good.

And for the money,

you needn’t worry.

I can go logging. We’ll pay it off.

Lenz!

Lenz!

Come closer.

Lenz, you’re so handsome.

Lenz!

I like you too.

To the groom!

Can I help?

No, not at your wedding!

We can manage.

Where were you? We’re leaving.

Already?

Yes.

I love you.

Be well.

God preserve.

I’ve something for you.

So you’ll soon be with child.

Thank you!

I’ll miss you.

Me too.

Take care.

God protect!

Holy Mother of God,

make me a good wife to Wolf.

Please grant me a child.

Turn round.

What?

Turn.

Wolf?

Wolf?

Wolf?

Wolf?

Is this Wolf’s pond?

Wolf Lizlfellner?

No.

Can you take me there?

Where are you?

Get a basket.

There’s one there.

Get to it.

Don’t stop.

Four, five… Done!

Agnes, come!

It fell through.

Pay attention!

You’ve one too many. Can’t you count?

A catfish!

A catfish?

Catfish!

Careful.

Back to work.

Agnes, you prayed enough. Come now.

Agnes, come!

Here, net them like this.

By the head, then they stay in.

Mother!

Let her try. She has to learn.

It’s not work for womenfolk!

Why? I do it.

See that you net them by the head, it’s easier.

Here you are.

God bless.

There.

God bless.

There, take over.

Thank you.

Thanks.

Thanks.

Welcome.

Could I please have two?

Course.

I’m so hungry.

Off with you!

Thank you.

I’ll show you the way home. Pay attention.

Next time wear something more fitting for work.

What are you doing?

Come on, it’s cold.

Look.

Wolf!

See how they glisten!

Fish scales.

Hear that?

Did you hear?

What?

The woods are singing.

Agnes…

Time we got home.

Having a bite?

Having a bite?

How many paternosters have you said?

The prayer?

Yeah.

While cooking?

Ten paternosters is how Wolf likes it.

Don’t you do that at home?

No.

Let me taste.

It needs salt.

If you say three more,

he’ll like it.

Our Father,

who art in heaven,

hallowed be…

Fine skillets, they are. But you mustn’t stack them.

They’ll be scratched.

And they’ve blackened underneath.

See those hooks?

We’ll hang’em up.

You see?

Here they’re close to hand.

You need the space for cooking.

You keep your grain in that sack?

What?

Your grain?

You should store your provisions in that chest.

Won’t they go moldy?

Nah.

Agnes!

Don’t forget to pray.

Please grant me a child.

She’ll never bear a child.

Hello, Wiesmayerin.

Morning, Gänglin.

A slow start today?

I’m a bit late.

Good day.

Hello.

Is this your spot?

Yeah, but…

Shall we wash together?

Gladly.

Happy about your baby?

Surely.

Surely, but it’s not always easy.

Have you settled in?

Yeah, it’s coming along.

I guess.

Your clasp’s pretty.

In my hair?

Did you make it?

Yeah.

It’s…

It’s made of carp bone.

Can I hold it?

Yeah.

If you like it,

you can have it.

Agnes!

I’m going.

Alright.

Hold on.

There you go.

It looks pretty.

Thank you!

Gladly.

Very kind.

Come.

I come here sometimes.

Can you manage?

Mother Gänglin?

Evening.

What are you doing?

Have you eaten?

Yeah.

Sit down, I’ll do that.

No, I’ll take that for my sow.

Let me.

I’ll manage.

Sit, let me.

Didn’t you hear the bells?

I was at the priest’s.

Where?

I told you I’d go to church.

Are you done?

I’ll chop firewood.

You must mind the time.

The Lord won’t like it if don’t cook for your husband.

We chop the priest’s wood instead.

What’s this rubbish you brought?

Throw it out.

It’ll dirty the place.

Wolf?

What?

About your mother…

What about her?

Will she come every day?

How should I know?

Does she not like me?

It’s not that.

Certainly she likes you.

She’s a different generation.

She brought you fish heads.

Mother of God!

Agnes!

What are you doing?

You mustn’t go in the water alone.

Many have drowned here!

The mud is treacherous.

I wanted to make up for yesterday.

You’ll scare the fish away.

We start over there.

For God’s sake!

Do you know how many have drowned here?

I’ll help you.

What’s that?

Holy Mary!

Leave it!

It’ll bring misfortune.

Put it back.

Come quickly!

Something’s up with Lenz. Come!

Open up!

Let us in!

Open up!

Let us in!

Open up!

Get away from here!

Look inside!

Go away!

Leave me alone!

Go away! Go away!

I’ll scratch your eyes out!

Leave me alone!

He’s my boy!

He’s my boy!

He’s my boy!

Calm down.

Get off my farm!

Friedl, let go!

Quiet.

Let me go!

Calm down.

Wolf, the cart!

I want to bury him!

Leave him!

Wolf, the cart!

Don’t take him!

Get a cart!

You can’t take him!

I want to bury him!

Go away!

Let me bury my son!

Go away!

Dear God,

help me!

We are given life

to say yes.

But one of us…

our Lenz…

said no.

We can’t bury him

because he said no…

to life…

to our lord God.

What he did is worse than murder.

That woman who murdered a child

could still receive confession before her execution.

She was forgiven.

But Lenz’s soul…

is lost forever.

Thank you.

God bless.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Can I have two?

There are two of us.

No?

You sow!

That whore should be happy we let her work.

Keep your distance from her.

Just give him any loaf.

God bless.

God bless.

You take one, too.

It’s not proper that we’ve no idea what she does all day.

She doesn’t tend to the stable, doesn’t cook.

She’s always getting lost. Three times the same day.

Yes, but she can’t…

She has no respect.

She doesn’t listen when you tell her something.

She’ll come around.

Give her some time.

Don’t you see? It’s getting worse.

People are talking.

You should’ve married a local girl.

One who can do a day’s work.

They all have babies.

She’s our cross to bear.

Agnes?

I can’t let you stay.

But I’ll visit and see how things are.

I’m scared there.

But why?

Does he beat you?

No.

Mother, go inside. Leave us.

Agnes, you have to go.

I’m scared there.

Go. It’ll be fine.

Come, Agnes.

Come.

We’re going home.

I can’t go back.

Come!

Come, Agnes.

No, please!

Come on, we’re going.

Let me go!

Please, let go!

Come now!

Get up!

Help me.

This is Satan’s doing!

Enough, now!

Be still!

Please!

Look!

Crawling with maggots.

She’s let it come to this.

What’s it got to do with her?

She spends all day in bed instead of in the stable. No wonder the goats are ill.

Agnes, pull yourself together.

Get up now and get dressed!

Look at me when I talk to you.

Mother…

Agnes!

I’ll help you.

I can do it.

Here…

Let me, I can do it.

Then do it.

And brush your hair, alright?

The barber will help you.

You’ll see.

This will let the melancholy seep out.

You must pull the hair back and forth so that the wound festers

and the poison drains out.

Look what God sent us.

Where did you find the baby?

By the stream, all on his own.

Where was he?

By the stream.

And you just took him?

No one was there.

You can’t!

Put him back!

Who’d leave a baby all alone?

Nonsense, take him back.

They must be searching for him.

Right now!

Make one of your own.

Wolf,

he was crying, and now…

You can’t take someone’s baby.

Take him back.

If you abandon a baby, you leave it at a farm.

Go.

Go!

I’ll look there.

Who’d take him?

Search over there!

It can’t be. He must be somewhere!

Praise be God!

Dance with me!

Go away!

What’s the matter, you donkey?

Agnes?

The night sky darkens ever deep

Sleep falls over man and sheep

Man and sheep, their breathing slows

And their eyes begin to close

All the little…

Look at me.

Look at me!

Look at me!

What’s wrong with you?

I don’t know what to do.

I don’t know what to do with you!

Wash yourself.

Here we go, wash!

Wash yourself!

This can’t go on.

Agnes!

I’ll fetch the barber.

Wolf…

You must get the priest.

I need to confess.

Why do you need to confess?

Please.

I think I’m dying.

No…

Fetch him, quick!

Alright, I’ll get him.

Don’t worry.

Everything will be alright.

I’ll be right back!

Where’s the priest?

You’ll feel better tomorrow.

Where’s the priest?

It’ll be alright.

You’ll go tomorrow, when you feel better.

Where’s the priest?

He wasn’t home.

I have to confess.

I took rat poison.

You took what?

How much?

How much did you eat?

Four.

Four what?

Come.

We’ll puke it up. You need to.

You’ll be fine.

Come.

Come, puke it up!

Agnes!

Come on.

Again, now!

Open your mouth!

C’mon, once more.

Once more!

It has to come out.

Come on.

It has to come out.

Puke it up. Go on.

Come here.

Here we go.

Help me a little.

Wolf?

What is it?

Lift her.

Got her?

Yeah, I have her.

Give me your arm.

Help me a little.

Lord almighty!

We couldn’t keep up with the chores.

She just lay in bed.

I think she’s in the Devil’s bath.

She even ate rat poison.

Good God!

I’m truly sorry.

But I had to bring her back here.

I’d best go…

Goodbye.

There’s the shrine.

Now you’ll get your reward.

But, perhaps you’d come with me?

We’ll say a paternoster.

Then you’ll get it.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done,

in earth as it is in heaven.

Give us…

Please don’t hurt me!

Please don’t hurt me!

Leave me alone!

I want to go home!

Everything will be fine.

Leave me alone!

Help!

Now you’ll never sin.

You’re an angel before God.

I’ve committed a crime.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.

Amen.

I’ve thought ill of my mother-in-law.

And I’ve judged her.

I fought with a woman on the church steps. and shouted bad words at her.

I let the goat die.

And I’ve dragged everyone into misfortune with me.

I thought, if I kill the boy, it’ll be over for me too.

I wanted to be gone from the world.

To be gone from the world.

I wanted to be gone from the world.

I wanted to be a good wife to my husband.

But I wasn’t able.

I swallowed rat poison.

I… I poisoned everything beautiful with my… my mad thoughts.

I couldn’t bear it.

I knew no one could help me.

And I’m so sorry

that I…

that I killed the boy.

I told myself,

He’s an angel and now he won’t sin any more in this world.

I’ll save his soul.

I’m so sorry!

Heavenly mother, please don’t cast me into hell!

I couldn’t see any way out.

Almighty God, forgive me, I beg Thee.

Almighty God!

Lord, have mercy on Agnes.

I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Agnes,

Godspeed.

Agnes!

Agnes!

For Agnes Catherina Schickin, Ewa Lizlfellner and the children

In 17th and 18th century Europe, people who wanted to kill themselves would commit murder, so as to be executed.

After confessing, cleansed of sin, they hoped to enter heaven and thus avoid the eternal damnation that awaited suicides.

The majority were women, and their victims primarily children.

Over 400 cases are documented in German-speaking regions alone.

The Devil’s Bath based on historical research by Kathy Stuart

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