BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM Academy Award (1966)
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM New York Film Critics Circle Award (1966)
SPECIAL MENTION Cannes Film Festival (1965)
This haunting tragicomedy takes place during the early days of the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. Britko (Josef Kroner), a simple, amiable carpenter, is appointed "aryan controller" of a supposedly profitable Jewish shop. The shop's elderly proprietress (Ida Kaminska), a stubborn but lovable deaf widow, is oblivious to the war, and incapable of understanding why Britko is there. He tries to explain, but she doesn't understand and puts him to work as her assistant. When the Nazis begin deporting Jews, including the old woman, Britko is forced into a confrontation between trying to save the woman or passively complying with the policies of the Nazis.
"Brilliant in performance and extraordinary in accomplishment one of the fine films of our time, for all time."
Judith Crist, New York Herald Tribune
ALSO BY JAN KADAR
The Shop on Main Street
Obchod na korze
Czechoslovakia, 1965, 128 minutes, B&W
Czech with English subtitles
Directed by Ján Kadár
Public Exhibition 16mm, Beta Rental also available