Close Up

7 May 2019: The Shop on the High Street


The Shop on the High Street
Ján Kadár & Elmar Klos, 1965, 125 min
Slovak & Yiddish with English subtitles

An inept Slovak peasant is torn between greed and guilt when the Nazi-backed bosses of his town appoint him “Aryan controller” of an old Jewish widow’s button shop. Humour and tragedy fuse in this scathing exploration of one cowardly man’s complicity in the horrors of a totalitarian regime. Made near the height of Soviet oppression in Czechoslovakia, The Shop on the High Street features intense editing and camera work which won it the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1965.

Part of our season on the Czechoslovak New Wave