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Customer Review

on 21 October 2008
This is a little known, yet greatly moving 1960 film by Czech director Jiri Weiss.
It could be called a chamber piece as its strength lies in its simplicity and focus on the two central characters, Pavel and Hanka. Set almost entirely in a Prague housing block in 1942 during the German occupation, Pavel hides the Jewish girl Hanka in the attic, as she is about to be deported. A brief love story develops between the two, although the glimmer of hope that they experience is soon extinguished by brutal reality. The focus is fully on the two main characters, but the neighbours and Pavels family and schoolfriends play strong supporting parts.
Even though the appearances of the Nazi occupiers are kept to a minimum, the threat is omnipresent. The opening sequence of a single Jewish family packing up their belongings and walking up an empty Prague street to be deported in full day-light is incredibly striking and affecting.
Beautifully photographed on location with engaging actors, this film is greatly recommended.
Second Run should be congratulated in bringing to DVD films which have seldom, if ever been seen.
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Product Details

3.7 out of 5 stars