Shot in 1969, but banned by the Czech government until the fall of the Communist regime in 1990, Menzel s wry comic drama is a hymn to humanity and nonconformity. The film s principal characters are residents of a state-run junkyard / labour camp for those whose actions have been deemed counter-revolutionary . On one side of the yard live the men, most sent here for re-education . On the other side, are a group of women interned for the crime of attempted defection. Separately, the two groups lazily toil, sorting out piles of scrap metal (one huge pile is nothing less than a veritable mountain of crucifixes and religious icons); together, they flirt, philosophize, and occasionally sneak off behind the hillocks of slag to make love. Larks on a String is at once a stinging indictment of the repressive politics of Czechoslovakia's past, and an endearing comedy and affecting love story.
United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (1.66:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Anamorphic Widescreen, Booklet, Interactive Menu, Remastered, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: It is little wonder that this film was withheld from release by the communist government of Czechoslovakia from 1969 to its release in 1990 at the Berlin Film Festival. What's amazing is that it was made at all and that, having been made, it survived to be shown. The story concerns the irrepressible goodness of people imprisoned by the government in labor camps, as they struggle against all odds to retain their humanity. The story focuses on two small groups of prisoners: one of men, the other of women. They have been imprisoned for such apparently minor crimes as attempting to find out what has happened to missing loved ones. The two groups manage to interact and some romance even springs up between them. From time to time, prisoners are spirited away in a mysterious black car, never to be seen again. Reviewers were lavish in their praise of this film, which is funny, bitter, satirical, allegorical, and rich with imagery that is particularly meaningful to those who endured similar privations through living under repressive regimes. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Berlin International Film Festival, ...Larks on a String ( Skrivánci na niti ) ( Larks on a Thread (Skylarks on a String) )