The film Larks on a Thread was made in 1969 by director Jiri Menzel based on the short stories from Bohumil Hrabal's book An Advertisement for the House I Don't Want to Live in Anymore. For twenty long years, the film remained locked in a safe, because it spoke about the absurd reality of Czech society in the 1950s, which was supposed to remain hidden forever. The plot of the satirical film takes place in the scrapyard of the Kladno steelworks, which became a work camp for those whom the communist society threw out to the very edge and intended to re-educate them. People from different fields and environments have met here. A prosecutor who did not want to understand that the law should be subordinated to the political goals of a totalitarian power. An Adventist who refused to go to work on Saturdays. A philosopher who did not intend to squeeze his thinking into new communist lessons. A saxophonist whose instrument was condemned as a bourgeois relic. An entrepreneur and many others. A little further away work female prisoners, girls and women, who saw the only way out was to flee across the border, but they failed... Each character is marked by a tragic human fate, but Bohumil Hrabal's view is warmly human, full of understanding and looking for a spark of hope in every hopeless situation. Main characters, dressed in old rags, may be rummaging through old iron, but they seem happier than those who sent them here.
The strictly banned film was finally in cinemas twenty-one years later. It premiered in January 1990. Only in retrospect could the audience include it in the sequence of successful adaptations of Hrabal's works, whose creator was Jiri Menzel. At the 1990 Berlinale, it won the main prize of the Golden Bear.
Another work by Jiri Menzel based on a short story by Bohumil Hrabal, which was locked in a safe for twenty years. After watching it, it should be clear to everyone why. Menzel perfectly portrayed the atmosphere of that period, for which he chose the location of the Kladno steelworks, where people who have committed crimes against political thinking are sent. The story is told in a beautiful poetic style, with a whole series of grotesque situations and verses quoted by Vlastimil Brodsky. All the actors give quality performances (especially Rudolf Hrusinsky and Vaclav Neckar). An interesting fact is that the leadership of The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia did not want to allow Bohumil Hrabal and Jiri Menzel to work together on projects for 11 years after the film Larks on a Thread (1969). Only after the great success of Cutting It Short / Postriziny (1980) was it decided to approve the script for this film. 10/10 a classic is a classic