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27 April 2019: The Firemen's Ball


The Firemen’s Ball
Miloš Forman, 1967, 72 min
Czech with English subtitles

A milestone of the Czech New Wave, Miloš Forman’s first colour film The Firemen’s Ball is both a dazzling comedy and a provocative political satire. A hilarious saga of good intentions confounded, the story chronicles a firemen’s ball where nothing goes right – from a beauty pageant whose reluctant participants embarrass the organizers to a lottery from which nearly all the prizes are pilfered. Presumed to be a commentary on the floundering Czech leadership, the film was "banned forever" in Czechoslovakia following the Russian invasion and prompted Forman’s move to America.

Part of our season on the Czechoslovak New Wave