Obchod na Korze (The Shop On Main Street) (A Shop on the High Street) (1966)
In this film, set during WWII, Czechoslovakian carpenter Josef Kroner becomes the "Aryan comptroller" for a rundown button shop. The shopkeeper's Jewish friends, knowing that the elderly woman will be carted off for extermination if she doesn't have an Aryan co-worker, offer to pay Kroner to stay on as her assistant.
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Critic Reviews for Obchod na Korze (The Shop On Main Street) (A Shop on the High Street)
The noted Polish actress Ida Kaminska was deservedly nominated for an Oscar for this serio-comic fable, set in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia.
Mesmerizing and heart-breaking...
suggests the sheer impossibility of ever knowing the Holocaust while simultaneously reassuring us that we can always know individual human beings
Audience Reviews for Obchod na Korze (The Shop On Main Street) (A Shop on the High Street)
A Czech man takes over a Jewish-run business at the behest of the town's Nazi occupiers.
Filled with tense, ethical quandaries, this film is absolutely remarkable. As Tono takes over an elderly woman's shop and learns the Jewish community that supports her, his prejudices wane, but there is still a gulf between belief and action - a gulf that I suspect infected many in the wake of Nazi atrocities. His weak-willed inability to stand up for others and his pride-busting benefits from his job present him with serious ethical questions that he ultimately fails to resolve.
The performances by Josef Kroner and Ida Kaminska are as compelling as actors can be, and the direction by Jan Kadar and Elmar Klos is blithe and compelling.
Overall, this is one of the finest films I've ever seen about WWII.
The struggle to maintain a loyalty born out of an unusual friendship in the midst of war and racial persecution is explored with subtlety and great melancholy.More
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