By Raimundas BANIONIS


Thriller - Development 2020

Magdalena, a street urchin with the heart of the witch is hired by Bona Sforza – the queen of Poland and Lithuania. She takes us through the mysterious labyrinths of Renaissance to end the most romantic and scandalous royal love story.

    • Year of production
    • 2020
    • Genres
    • Thriller, Romance, Historical
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 3 - 5 M$
    • Duration
    • 90 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Raimundas BANIONIS
    • Writer(s)
    • Renata SERELYTE
    • Producer(s)
    • Teresa ROZANOVSKA (Unnecessary Films), Dorota ROSZKOWSKA (Arkana Studio), Rimantas BAGDZEVICIUS
    • Synopsis
    • The main theme of the film Magdalena is the true love story in the middle of XVI c. between a Lithuanian aristocrat Barbara Radziwill and Sigismund Augustus, the King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania as seen through the eyes of a fictional character Magdalena.

      Magdalena, the daughter of a Gdansk Calvinist, ends up in Vilnius after her father's death and her mother’s forced exile – circumstances that leave her facing a hard life. She begs and steals and is eventually taken in by a brothel owner who intends to exploit her. In a parallel story, we see glimpses of Sigismund and Barbara’s lives. Barbara marries Goštautas, a Lithuanian-Polish nobleman, while Augustus ties the knot with Elizabeth of Habsburg. Subsequently, Barbara and Sigismund meet in Vilnius and fall in love. Their affair raises many eyebrows as well as serious concerns for Queen Bona, Sigismund’s mother and the dowager queen.

      At that time Magdalena, who has escaped from the brothel because she doesn’t want to end up as a prostitute, finds herself working in Bona’s palace as a maid. After some time, and thanks to Magdalena’s pluckiness and strength of character, she manages to earn Queen Bona's trust and is sent to Vilnius to spy on Barbara and Sigismund. She is instructed to administer poison to Barbara at an opportune moment. However, before long Magdalena begins to sympathize with the young couple. When the basement ceiling at Dubingiai Manor falls in, Barbara saves Magdalena by sacrificing her unborn child. From this moment on, Magdalena becomes Queen Barbara’s loyal friend.

      Queen Bona sees Magdalena’s friendship with Barbara as betrayal and sends Magdalena’s former friend Medik to poison her. The poison fails to kill Magdalena and she recovers.
      Barbara’s health was failing and she dies soon after her coronation. Devastated by the loss, Sigismund accompanies Barbara’s remains to Vilnius.

      After taking revenge on Medik by murdering him, Magdalena reunites with her lost daughter and they travel together to Italy to find Queen Bona Sforza.