Shop On The Main Street, The

While telling about what happens in a small town in Czechoslovakia under Nazi occupation in the year 1942, Czech filmmakers Jan Kadar and Elmar Klos expose in their film The Shop on the Main Street, the basic changes that a fascist government raises in human life. A tiny haberdashery on the main street of the town is used as a symbol in the solution of the problem. The shop which belongs to an old widow is a very small place. The shelves are filled with boxes, but war and famine have long emptied them. One day the local fascist leader of the town makes his brother in law, a poor, introverted carpenter, auditor of the superior race over the Jewish woman in order to audit the shop and to seize its profits. Thus, a strange relationship blossoms between the woman who is flabbergasted because she cannot understand what's going on, and the carpenter who senses the truth but is content with just giving a shrug. The carpenter who has ventured to be an instrument of Fascism in exchange for the material benefits it'll provide starts experiencing a totally new conflict when he gets to know the shop on main street, and its old, half deaf owner. The poor little man who whiles away his days either repairing the woman's old furniture or by helping her as much as he can, drifts into an interrogation he cannot avoid, between the pure and natural universe of the woman and the new order that Fascism is forcing him to submit to. While events develop in a fascist order, conflicts of the ordinary man between "others" and himself also sharpen. The absurdity of the local fascists strolling the streets, the shadow of the awkward monument being erected in the square on the main street for the man who has turned the country into a Nazi haven, and above all the stamp that Fascism is trying to put on the laborer with its authorization ideology, gives rise every moment to a new problem for the ordinary human. The persecution by Fascism of his neighbors who have been his friends of many years only because they are of different race, is the last drop in the bucket. Ali Gevgilili (Cinema Interrogating Its Time,, Bağlam Publications, İstanbul, 1989)
Czech Republic

(Ladislav Grosman'ın romanından)
Ján Kadár

Vladimir Novotny

Diana Heringova
Jaromir Janacek

Czechoslovak Film

Alojz Kranár
Elena Zvarikova-Pappova
Frantisek Zvarik
Hana Slivková
Ida Kaminská
Jozef Kroner
Martin Gregor
Martin Holly

Zdenek Liska

New York Film Critics 1966
Oscar 1965

4th Festival on Wheels