A Shop on the High Street

Film

War films

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Time Out says

Kadar and Klos deal with the horror of the Holocaust by detailing the moral plight of an Everyman: In 1942, thanks to his brother-in-law, an official of the Nazi occupation, a small town Slovak carpenter, Anton Brtko (Króner), is made Aryan controller of the little shop of Mrs Lautmann (Kaminská), a deaf elderly Jewish widow. The directors and co-writers play the story just like a provincial comedy of the time - dialectically countered by Zdenek Liska's minatory string score - as they trace the tragicomic relationship that develops between the widow and the controller in the brief period before the cattle trains are mustered for the transports. It shades darker and darker as 'Tono' finds himself getting more and more deeply involved in the secret Jewish support sytem, only to burst into the finale's remarkable dream sequence, where the couple wander free as lovers under the town's sun-dappled limes.
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Release details

UK release:

1964

Duration:

128 mins

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