Popular across Europe, the beloved Czech holiday film is often referred to as the European It’s a Wonderful Life. An adaptation of a darker version of the Cinderella fairytale by Božena Nemcová, the movie was a co-production between the East German DEFA Studio and the Czech Barrandov Studios. Barrandov produced several films based on children’s fairytales, and Three Wishes is one of the studio’s finest—featuring stunning snow-covered scenes in the Bohemian Forest and a magic that doesn’t come from flashy special effects, but from three enchanted hazelnuts. This Popelka—Czech for Cinderella—is feisty and more at home shooting arrows while riding her horse Yurashek than sifting lentils. Instead of a ball gown, she sports a smart hunting outfit (courtesy of Theodor Pistek, who would win the Academy Award for Amadeus’ costume design) and actively pursues the prince out of love alone. The feminist undertones in this classic tale ensure its timelessness and its power to engage audiences of all ages in years to come. The HFA will screen the recent digital restoration from the Czech National Film Archive with new English subtitles.