This deceptively sunny satire from the director of Closely Watched Trains conceals a deadly serious heart. Set in the aftermath of the 1948 Communist coup, it follows a band of bourgeois enemies of the state who are relegated to working in a scrap metal yard where camaraderie and romance blossom even as people disappear for having the wrong opinions. Throughout, filmmaker Jiří Menzel balances moments of graceful comedy with sobering reminders of authoritarianism’s human toll. Banned for decades, Larks on a String went unseen until its premiere at the 1990 Berlin Film Festival, where it took the top prize.
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