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Of course you need to see this movie in the context of its time. In today's light, the movie may even come across as an odd and irrelevant one but what the movie does is creating a good and fascinating look of Communism, set in a Communist country.

It's also not very hard to see and understand why this movie got initially banned at first, in its native Czechoslovakia, since it isn't exactly a very flattering movie about communism. Yes, you could say this is an anti-communist film, that isn't afraid to show some of the flaws and horrors of the regime.

It's mostly a movie that plays on fears really. The main characters in this movie are constantly in fear of the regime, even though- or maybe actually because, they are a part of it. Paranoia is a keyword for this movie, as the characters are constantly absolutely convinced they are being watched and listened and the regime could show up at any moment, to arrest and take them away, for whatever they did or said wrong.

And once you realize the movie is supposed to be all about fear for- and a cry-out against the Communist regime, you are probably going to like the movie much better. Fore the movie itself isn't really following a clear enough main-plot line and at times feels messy with its seemingly random, unique shot, scenes and pieces of dialog. But really everything in this movie adds to the movie its sense of paranoia and its buildup.

The fact that the movie is shot in black & white and mostly features only natural light also adds to the overall atmosphere of the movie and its constant sense of coming danger.

An interesting and effective movie to watch, about a different time period, that once was very real.

8/10

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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