The Ear

Czechoslovakia 1969 / 93 min. / DCP & Blu-ray / english subtitles

Director → Karel Kachyňa / Screenplay → Jan Procházka, Karel Kachyňa / Director of Photography → Josef Illík / Production Design → Oldřich Okáč / Editing  → Miroslav Hájek / Cast → Radoslav Brzobohatý, Jiřina Bohdalová, Jiří Císler, Jaroslav Moučka, František Němec, Bořivoj Navrátil, Galina Kopaněva, Bronislav Poloczek, Jan Teplý, Gustav Opočenský, Ivan Palúch

The protagonists of this story, which is set against the background of the repression of 1950s communist Czechoslovakia, are married couple Ludvík (Radoslav Brzobohatý) and Anna (Jiřina Bohdalová). Although the couple have got used to being constantly spied on by the secret police, they are still surprised when they find an “ear” (ucho) recording their conversations. Ludvík, who is a deputy minister, and his wife go into full panic mode after returning late from a government reception to their villa. They make the deduction that Ludvík is in danger of being arrested due to a critical report he was involved in producing. Ludvík expects to be arrested and attempts to destroy any evidence of what he has done. During a sleepless night, the couple quarrel and blame each other for all the transgressions, concessions and compromises each has made. Daybreak reveals them tired and sober and the terrible realisation that nothing has come to an end: Ludvík is appointed the new minister, to take up the post of his former boss.