Bohumil Hrabal

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Closely Watched Trains Review


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This Oscar-winning Czech film (based on the German occupation of the country during WWII) is as heralded as it is surprisingly simplistic. Our oblivious hero works as a train stationmaster trainee, woos the ladies, and encounters all sorts of odd people -- while apparently unaware that a war is going on around him. Heavy on the sex, this alleged metaphorical diatribe against the communism of Czechoslovakia in the 1960s is pretty to watch and meticulous in its craftsmanship, but ultimately its lessons and messages feel lost in another era and another world.

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