Torchbearer (2005) 

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Video player

Please support this filmmaker

$93.00 raised so far.

Make a donation

This film is available to stream for free

Watch now
Václav Švankmajer

Suddenly the machine grinds to a halt and endless night threatens…

We can see a Town with an extensive Labyrinth. Day and Night alternate above the Town and Labyrinth, and the Sun and Moon revolve in a seemingly never-ending cycle. The machine keeping things in balance fails and the darkness that falls threatens to last forever. On his voyage into the heart of the Labyrinth the Hero must pass through three tests to confront the forces of breakdown.

Torchbearer is a creation of award-winning Czech filmmaker Václav Švankmajer, son of Czech surrealists Jan Švankmajer and Eva Švankmajerová. A rare treat shot on 35mm film, this 25 minute stop-frame animation combines beautifully wrought set and model craft with visceral sound design, influenced by the haunting mystique of Jan Švankmajer’s dark animations and their echoes in the works of Brothers Quay.

Kristian, Best Animated Film, Febiofest, Prague, 2005
Best Animated Film, Fresh Film Fest Karlovy Vary 2005
3rd Prize International Festival of Animation Korea DIFECA, 2005
Award for best screenplay and editing, ACKO, Bratislava, 2005
Cracow Students Jury Award, IFF Krakow 2006
Special Mention for Best Czecho-slovak film, Fresh Film Fest Karlovy Vary 2005

Official Website

Leave a comment on this page describing what you like most about Torchbearer and you will be entered into a VODO prize draw. The competition closes on Friday 31 August 2012 and the winner will get a free GOLD ticket with 10 streams to gift to friends, giving them instant access to the film for 10 days from when they accept the gift. The winner will be announced in the first week of September 2012.

Indie Film: Love it? Share it!

Václav Švankmajer

This film has not been reviewed yet.


Please login to post a comment.


on March 26, 2015 at 10:08am

This film really grabbed me by the balls. It's intensely dark and mediaeval, like I've never really seen before in stop motion.

To me it's about the sacrifice of the female and the male. It shows that no choice is intrinsically good or bad, that winning means losing, and that we do it all to make the world turn. Really, go watch it now.


on September 18, 2012 at 6:45pm

Congratulations to WIM - you are the winner of the Torchbearer GOLD ticket, which gives you 10 streams of the film to gift to friends, allowing them instant streaming access. Well done!


on August 16, 2012 at 2:20pm

What I like most in this film is the non stop intensity and scaryness, best watched at night and with loud volume!! The plot is also very original and creative.


on July 26, 2012 at 5:52am

I'm donwloading it now. Seems awesome. The words "Å vankmajer" and "Brothers Quay" really makes me want to watch it. Stumbled into it on my facebook feed, and it immediately caught my attention, a true jewel.


on July 20, 2012 at 11:06am

@MARK HARRIS: Enjoy! If you'd like a chance at sending free instant streams to friends of the non-downloading persuadion whom you think will appreciate it, please leave a few words about what you like most about the film here in the comments and you'll be entered into the draw for a Gold ticket (how Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is that?)

Mark Harris

on July 19, 2012 at 3:36pm

Really looking forward to this. Great idea for the trailer, just a snippet of the film dripping with suspense. DLing now.


on June 16, 2012 at 8:08am

Wow. I thought I was missing something in the language, but this is universal. I had a little trouble understanding it as the action was happening, but all was made clear by the end. The tests were awesome, but the rats made me laugh a little. Great film.


on May 17, 2012 at 11:09pm

Really enjoyed that, thanks for sharing.


on April 26, 2012 at 11:50am

It is working now!


on April 20, 2012 at 10:02pm

Guys fix it, what's wrong? it's several days now and still not fixed! error message: "Requested download is not authorized for use with this tracker."


on April 16, 2012 at 8:43pm

Torrent won't download...


on April 14, 2012 at 9:42pm

Yeah, I'm trying to download it also. I'm waiting.


on April 14, 2012 at 4:38pm

I am looking forward to seeing your creations

but someone needs to seed this for us to start sharing between us

Latest donations

Make a donation