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In San Francisco, many years after his hideous crimes, the fiendish water creature Vodník emerges from Czech folklore to recount his beguiling tale.

Director's Biography:

COTB alum and award-winner Emma Penaz Eisner is an independent filmmaker and visual artist from San Francisco. Her short films and moving image art have screened worldwide in art gallery exhibitions and as official selections in hundreds of international film festivals. Earning more than 60 awards, her work is in experimental filmmaking, live action combined with animation, digital and analogue photography, and stop motion animation. She engages with enduring mythical, existential, and psychological themes, often using dream logic in her visual storytelling. A Jeffrey Ahn, Jr. Fellow in 2020, she currently is a student at USC School of Cinematic Arts in Film and TV Production.

Director's Statement:

A singular fish-man creature, in Czech folklore the Vodník sometimes appears as a horror, other times almost comically, but always he enlivened my imagination as I grew up a Czech-American. Capturing a lovely young woman, he imprisons her in his watery abode. From there, his story unfolds to its brutal finale of terror and infanticide. Unloved and alone, repulsive to all humans, compelled to odious crimes, the Vodník nonetheless inspires a paradoxical sympathy: he has a heart, this green, sometimes ludicrous fish-man perched on a poplar above a lake while singing, stitching his little red boots, and dreaming of his wedding day. The original folktale is the springboard for my film "Vodník Many Years After the Rainstorm," which imagines the interior world of the Vodník over his full lifetime, as an entity that exists in and of itself, suspended across time. From this interior world comes the film’s pulse, in the spaces between seduction and exploitation, self-promotion and lying, self-preservation and cruelty, love and possession.
Emma Penaz Eisner
Emma Penaz Eisner
Emma Penaz Eisner
6 Minutes
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