The Shop on Main Street  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Shop on Main Street (Czech/Slovak: Obchod na korze; in the UK The Shop on the High Street) is a 1965 Czechoslovak film about the Aryanization programme during World War II in the Slovak State.

The film was written by Ladislav Grosman and directed by Ján Kadár and Elmar Klos. It was funded by Czechoslovakia's central authorities (as were all films under the Communist regime), produced at the Barrandov Film Studio in Prague, and filmed with a Slovak cast on location at the town of Sabinov in north-eastern Slovakia and on the Barrandov sound stage. It stars Jozef Kroner as carpenter Tóno Brtko and Polish actress Ida Kamińska as the Jewish widow Rozália Lautmannová.

The film won the 1965 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and Kamińska was nominated in 1966 for Best Actress in a Leading Role. The film was also entered into the 1965 Cannes Film Festival.

Plot

During World War II, a mild-mannered Slovak carpenter Anton "Tóno" Brtko (Jozef Kroner) is offered the chance to take over the sewing notions store of an old, near-deaf Jewish woman Rozália Lautmannová (Ida Kamińska) as a part of the enactment of an Aryanization regulation in the town. As Tóno attempts to explain to Mrs. Lautmannová, who is oblivious of the world outside and generally confused, that he has come to be her supervisor and owner of the store, Imrich Kuchár (Martin Hollý, Sr.), a Slovak opponent of Aryanization, steps in and reveals to Brtko that the business itself is less than profitable, as Lautmannová herself relies on donations. The Jewish community then offers the amiable Brtko a weekly payment if he does not give up the store, which would otherwise be given to a new, possibly ruthless Aryanizer. Tóno accepts and lets Mrs. Lautmannová believe he is her nephew who has come to help in the store. Their relationship grows, until the authorities round up the town's entire Jewish population for transport, and Tóno finds himself conflicted as to whether he should turn in the senile Mrs. Lautmannová, or hide her. When the woman finally becomes aware of the pogrom all around her, she panics, and in attempting to silence her, Tóno accidentally kills her. The realization devastates him, and he hangs himself.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Shop on Main Street" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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