in about 100 words or less
Czechoslovakia 92m, B&W
Director: Jiří Menzel; Cast: Václav Neckář, Jitka Bendová, Josef Somr, Vlastimil Brodský, Vladimír Valenta
Set in German-occupied Czechoslovakia during World War II, Closely Watched Trains is a dark quirky coming-of-age story with social and political commentary which found little favour within the former Soviet-controlled state. As a new station guard, Miloš, like most of his fellow workers, is not very interested in his job and would rather pursue a female conductor who regularly flirts with him. When he volunteers to help blow up a munitions train, Miloš gets much more than he bargained for. A brilliant production, Menzel’s sly commentary on authoritarian rule and its tragic consequences are found not far below the surface of this clever and witty film (Klaus Ming March 2016).