92 minutes, Czechoslovakia, 1966, Black and White, Digital

This film screened on Sunday 9th August 2015. 

An ingenious, playful and funny adaptation of Hrabal’s masterful book, Menzel’s Oscar-winning Closely Observed Trains is a landmark film of the Czech New Wave, a cinematic movement that, as Andrew Pulver described, ‘coincided with the country’s bid for ideological freedom’. The story concerns Miloš, an unambitious 22-year-old who starts work as a signalman at a train station in German-occupied Czechoslovakia during World War II. The film details the encounters he makes on the job that lead to his political awakening, mostly with Máša, with whom he is in love, but also with Zednicek, a venomous Nazi collaborator, and, pivotally, Viktoria Freie, a code-named circus artist and alluring Resistance agent.

This event is part of Anger is an Energy: Cinema of Protest, our season throughout August that features films – from a range of time periods and national cultures – that examine how some of cinema’s most creative and daring directors have tackled and responded to sociopolitical dissent.


Book Tickets