Tuesday, January 28, 2014

432. Obchod na Korze

Obchod na Korze
The Shop On Main Street
Directed by Jan Kadar and Elmar Klos

I keep mixing this film up with The Shop Around the Corner, which is very bad, considering one is about the Holocaust and the other is a light romantic comedy.  If I say that The Shop On Main Street is hilarious, I might get some unwelcome attention.

Anton Brtko is told that he must take over the shop of an old Jewish woman in an attempt to Aryanize the town (pretty sure I just made that word up).  He convinces the woman that he is her nephew and that he has come to help her.  All hell breaks loose.

There seems to be around a hundred films about the Holocaust in The Book and I think that I have gotten something unique out of each and every one of them.  I loved watching Anton struggle with what to do, particularly because he would go back and forth so much.  That to me is so much more realistic than a character just saying "well, I am going to be a hero now" and never doing any wrong.

I will say that this film had a few stretches where nothing much happened but I guess the chaos at the end made up for it.  Highly recommended.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

Shot exclusively in Sabinov.



  1. Good morning Amanda..
    Welcome back.. not seen you here for a short while.. it looks like you have been storing them up though..
    .. and I feel we are off to an 'agree-fest' today, starting with this one
    Decidedly in the 'Thank you book' category.. for getting me to to watch something I wouldn't have heard of it it wasn't for being 'told to'.
    I thoight this was great.. and for all the reasons you did.. the realistic way our lead character behaved, no false heroics, but...

    I was so convinced that Ayranize was a word, I went to look it up to reassure you it was, but cannot find it.. And, as I type, the little wriggly red lines tell me it is not a word, and I mean tyrannize.

    1. Good morning Ray!
      It's nice to start with an agreement but you are so polite that sometimes you disagree with me and I don't even notice haha.

      Yes I swear I have heard Aryanization but the red line keeps defying me!!

  2. I agree as well. This was an amazing find and thank you List for that. It provides a view on the Holocaust that is unusual and surprisingly powerful given how low-key the movie is thoughout and that we never see any actual violence.

  3. I thought this was hilarious during the first half when it was like a gentle Ealing comedy. I haven't seen Shop Around the Corner though. It probably could have lost 5-10mins to the edit room floor during the final third, but overall an excellent find.

    I think we're supposed to identify with Tono so that the agony of his moral choices hit home; what would you or I have done in his situation? Sitting here in Hong Kong right now, it's easy to see the reality of the premise. And by the end he has become the tormented consciences of those who survived the war, trying to justify to themselves why they did what they did (or didn't do) at the expense of others just to stay alive.