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A Report on the Party and the Guests (1966)
"O slavnosti a hostech" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  19 September 1968 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 643 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 20 critic

Distinguished by being "banned forever" in its native Czech Republic, Jan Nemec's "A Report on the Party" is a great film from the flowering of the Czech cinema in the 1960s. It is a ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ivan Vyskocil ...
Hostitel
Jan Klusák ...
Rudolf
Jiri Nemec ...
Josef
Pavel Bosek ...
Frantisek
Karel Mares ...
Karel
Evald Schorm ...
Manzel
Jana Pracharová ...
Paní
Zdena Skvorecka ...
Eva
Milon Novotny ...
Zenich (as Milon Novotný)
Helena Pejsková ...
Marta (as H. Pejsková)
Dana Nemcova ...
nevesta Olinka
Antonin Prazak ...
Antonín (as Antonín Prazák)
Josef Skvorecký ...
Guest #1
Adolf Siroký ...
Host
Václav Vodák ...
Host (as Dr. V. Vodák)
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Storyline

Distinguished by being "banned forever" in its native Czech Republic, Jan Nemec's "A Report on the Party" is a great film from the flowering of the Czech cinema in the 1960s. It is a political thriller that satirizes unquestionable conformity. A group of happy picnickers on their way to a birthday banquet are accosted by a group of strangers led by a bullying sadist who has an unbreakable hold over his followers. The master finally discovers them and puts an end to the charade, inviting everyone to a nonsensical, but elegant and formal banquet outdoors. Nemec documents the process of self-deception and rationalization which lead to an acceptance of constraint; free will and freedom are seen as difficult to maintain and easily discarded. The affair is bizarre, and ends when one of the guests (played by film director Evald Schorm) chooses not to remain and escapes. His compatriots agree that he must be recaptured, and the group arms and hunts him down. The film concludes with the ... Written by Fiona Kelleghan <fkelleghan@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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19 September 1968 (USA)  »

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A Report on the Party and the Guests  »

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1.37 : 1
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Famous as being "banned forever" in Czechoslovakia after the Soviet invasion. See more »

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User Reviews

Another Masterpiece of the Czech New Wave
25 November 2003 | by (Miss., U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

'A Report on the Party and the Guests' is not just a biting political allegory on Communism, it is also one of the most astute observations on human nature I have ever seen- which is what makes it universal.

The "plot" revolves around a group of friends who are having a picnic in the park one afternoon, but are eventually forced into going to a birthday celebration for a man they do not know. In order to gain his favor, some of the group betray a friend who left the party. The plot is actually loosely structured after the manner that Czechoslovakia was taken over by the Communists in the 50's, and the way the Czechs allowed it to happen. Interestingly for a film that was "banned forever" by the Communists, I found it to be more scathing in its depiction of the people who were seduced into the situation, and then collaborated with the party overseeres.

In a film with a surrealist plot, the acting is surprisingly realistic. The situation is so bizarre, but the film poses the question: if you were there would you have acted any different? The situation, after all, was very bizarre in real life too. The acting is excellent, the cinemetography is excellent, and Jan Nemec (whose Holocaust film 'Diamonds of the Night' I found to be disappointing) directs with a bold hand. This is a great film, and it's not just a history lesson. There's humor in it too, and it's very interesting from a psychological perspective. 10/10


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