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Beware Big Brother
Directed by Karel Kachyňa • 1970 • Czechoslovakia
This paranoid surveillance thriller unfolds over the course of a tense, turbulent night in the life of Ludvík (Radoslav Brzobohatý), a Communist party official, and his wife Anna (Jiřina Bohdalová). Returning home from a party one evening, the pair discover that their house has been broken into and bugged—and that the state may be listening in on their every word. A number of Ludvík’s colleagues have already been terminated in an ongoing purge: could he be next? Completed in 1970 but banned for twenty years, THE EAR masterfully evokes the ever-present sense of dread that defines life under authoritarianism.