An acute piece of historical foresight, with a marvellous basic idea. A group of picnickers wandering in a summery wood change into evening-dress, emerge into the grounds of a stately mansion, and are rescued from a band of roving thugs by their host, who ushers them to a magnificent banquet laid out under the stars. Then a man is reported to have left the party; the urbanity vanishes; tracker dogs can be heard howling in the distance. The allegory is obvious, of course, with the avuncular dictator mouthing platitudes, his brutish minions straining at the leash, and the guests submitting like patient sheep to the pointless show of the party. But once one has grasped the message and admired the glittering camerawork, that's about it (although the dialogue may well have carried more hidden charges for Czech audiences).
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