Directed by Michal Nohejl, black comedy, 97 min, eng subtitles, 16+
Written by Marek šindelka, Vojtěch Mašek
With Martin Pechlát, Antonie Formanová, Aleksey Gorbunov, Cyril Dobrý
Time: the so-called “normalization era” after the Prague Spring was crushed in 1968 and Czechoslovakia is being occupied by Soviets. Place: a Czech provincial theatre staging a play about the communist hero Julius Fučík, who was murdered by the Nazis. The relaxed atmosphere after the performance is boorishly disturbed by a drunken Soviet officer, who breaks into the theatre bar, offering to sell petrol and hoping to have some fun. It does not take long before the situation, which resembles a model version of the world outside, gets horribly out of hand…
Taut, atmospheric, tightly-scripted and absorbingly acted, this is a tarantino-lynchesque black comedy thriller which develops a simple anecdote into a bitter allegory of the Czechoslovakian-Soviet relations, while offering a vividly fleshed-out conundrum of what it means to be a Czech hero.
Czech Film Critics’ Awards 2022 (Best Film)