Shop on Main Street

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Academy Awards
Best Foreign Language Film
Academy Awards
Palme d’Or
Cannes Film Festival
Noted Czech filmmaker Ivan Passer (Loves of a Blonde, Born to Win, Stalin) will participate in a post-screening Q&A with Stephen Farber.


The Shop on Main Street

THE SHOP ON MAIN STREET (1965) was the first film from Eastern Europe ever to win an Academy Award. Fifty years ago this powerful Czech drama won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film. Directed by Ján Kadár and Elmar Klos, it was one of the key films in the Czech New Wave that flourished in the 1960s, before the Soviet invasion of 1968 stamped out this vital movement. Josef Kroner and Yiddish theater legend Ida Kaminska (nominated for an Oscar for her performance) star in this poignant tale of an Aryan functionary who takes over the button shop of an elderly Jewish woman in a Slovakian town in 1942. They develop a tentative friendship that is threatened when the Nazis begin rounding up all the Jews in the area.

Esteemed critic Kenneth Tynan said this was "the most moving film about anti-Semitism ever made." Oscar-nominated screenwriter Eleanor Perry (
David and Lisa, Diary of a Mad Housewife) reviewed the film for Life magazine and called it "a masterpiece, a flawless examination of the toll of indecision and the penalty of passive decency." Perry went on to write, "The film's lasting power is that it poses a couple of additional questions to every spectator: 'If it had been you, what would you have done?' If it ever is you, what will you do?'"

Joining Stephen Farber for a post-screening discussion, special guests director Ivan Passer and Michal Sedlacek, Consul General of Czech Republic in Los Angeles. Mr. Passer was one of the directors of the Czech New Wave of the 1960s. His acclaimed film,
Intimate Lighting, was also made in 1965. He was the co-writer of Milos Forman's films Loves of a Blonde and The Firemen's Ball. Like Forman, he emigrated to America after the Russian invasion. In this country he directed such films as Born to Win with George Segal, Law and Disorder with Carroll O'Connor, Cutter's Way with Jeff Bridges, and the Emmy-winning HBO movie, Stalin, starring Robert Duvall.

Please note that all special guest schedules are subject to change.
Not Rated
Slovak, Yiddish
Ján Kadár
Elmar Klos
Ida Kaminska, Jozef Kroner
Nominee, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Academy Awards
Winner, Best Foreign Language Film, Academy Awards
Nominee, Palme d’Or, Cannes Film Festival
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