11 December 2012 10:53 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

“In the Shadow,” the Czech Republic’s official Oscar entry, takes place in 1953 Prague, during the currency reform. World War II has been over for the better part of a decade, but the stench of anti-Semitism is still thick in the air, and a tightly controlled police state looms. Detective Jarda Hakl (Ivan Trojan) falls upon a seemingly routine burglary case -- a safe broken into, jewelry missing -- that leads him down a labyrinthine rabbit hole with murder, lies and relentless surveillance in its cavernous depths. The burglary has apparently been committed by a local Jewish man, an arrest that initially feels right to Hakl, until the creeping suspicion of a set-up begins to nag at him. Why are officials from State Security brought in to handle what would otherwise be a local police case? And why is the head official Zenke (Sebastian Koch, “The Lives of Others”), a »

- Beth Hanna

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