Directed by Karel Kachyňa • 1966 • Czechoslovakia
Starring Iva Janžurová, Jaromír Hanzlík, Luděk Munzar
In the waning days of World War II, a young Czech woman (Iva Janzurová) is forced by a pair of Austrian soldiers to accompany them on their journey from the Russian front to Vienna. Unbeknownst to them, she is a widow whose husband was killed by the Nazis and who is determined to exact revenge on his behalf. What plays out is both a taut, moody thriller—the fablelike atmosphere conjured in part thanks to Ester Krumbachová’s costume design—and a morally complex exploration of the dehumanizing effects of war.