Once upon a time there were three neighboring kingdoms each with a magnificent castle, from which ruled kings and queens, princes and princesses. One king was a fornicating libertine, another captivated by a strange animal, while one of the queens was obsessed by her wish for a child. Sorcerers and fairies, fearsome monsters, ogres and old washerwomen, acrobats and courtesans are the protagonists of this loose interpretation of the celebrated tales of Giambattista Basile. [Synopsis courtesy of Cannes Film Festival]
With the age of feudalism in decline, Europe rests at a tense crossroads between the old world and the new. Respected, well-to-do horse merchant Michael Kohlhaas is a loving husband and family man leading a peaceful existence, until a ruthless nobleman steals his horses, setting off a chain of irreversible events. Kohlhaas resorts to extremes after these crimes destroy his livelihood and trust in the law, igniting a rampage through the countryside in his quest for justice.