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25 November 2016: Second Run: The Shop on the High Street

The Shop on the High Street

Ján Kadár, Elmar Klos
1965 | 125 min | B/W | Digital
Introduced by Mehelli Modi

Part of the 20th Made in Prague Festival and in collaboration with Second Run, we present Ján Kadár and Elmar KlosThe Shop on the High Street, a complex tale of ordinary lives disturbed and destroyed by war. 1965 Academy Award Winner for Best Foreign Language Film and one of the cornerstones of World Cinema, The Shop on the High Street is also perhaps the most internationally renowned film in all Czechoslovak cinema.

"Tóno" Brtko, a poor carpenter, is appointed by his despised Nazi brother-in-law to be "Aryan controller" of an old Jewish widow’s sewing shop in a Nazi-occupied Slovakia in 1942. The widow, Rozalia is near deaf, isolated and partially sighted, barely even aware of the war or able to comprehend the danger in which she lives. Believing Tóno is simply her new assistant, the two develop a friendship that sees him maintaining that fiction as he attempts to protect her from the encroaching Nazi horror.

Wonderfully written and performed, and with an extraordinary Zdenek Liška score, the film becomes a devastating examination of how minor compromises can finally lead to complicity in the horrors of tyranny.

The film is presented from a new High Definition transfer prepared by the Czech National Film Archive.

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