The Ear

This political thriller was the only film to come out of 1960s Czechoslovakia that took aim at the highest party echelons.

Czechoslovakia 1970
  • English
92 min.
  • This film is available in the following territories: Czechia, Slovakia.

Only a handful of openly socio-critical films made in 1960s communist Czechoslovakia managed to see the light of day, works which examined the devastating impact of the totalitarian machinery on the lives of ordinary citizens. The Ear, however, courageously focused its critical eye directly on the highest political circles. Over the course of a single night, a compelling and, in key aspects, exemplary drama unfolds within the confines of a government villa. A prominent representative of the party elite finds himself in the midst of a ruthless power struggle and faces the threat of immediate dismissal and perhaps even physical extermination. At the same time, the harrowing and darkly grotesque events of this troubling night test the relationship of the central married couple and provide an opportunity for a penetrating study of both characters; the outcome is unexpected. The political drama is thus neatly interwoven with the psychological narrative, while the exceptional persuasiveness of this formally sophisticated work is heightened throughout by superb performances from Jiřina Bohdalová and Radoslav Brzobohatý.

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Director: Karel Kachyňa
Based on: Jan Procházka
Screenplay: Jan Procházka, Karel Kachyňa
Cinematography: Josef Illík
Music: Svatopluk Havelka
Sound: Jiří Lenoch
Editing: Miroslav Hájek
Production Design: Oldřich Okáč, Ester Krumbachová
Producer: Karel Vejřík
Costumes: Ester Krumbachová
Cast: Radoslav Brzobohatý, Jiřina Bohdalová, Jiří Císler, Miloslav Holub, Jaroslav Moučka, Gustav Opočenský
  • This film is available in the following territories: Czechia, Slovakia.