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Czechoslovakia, 1965 (MIFF 1968, Programme 38)

Director: Pavel Jurácek

The film takes the form of a two-part sketch book on army life. The first, The Heel of Achilles, shows a tough corporal and a raw recurit, sent from then barracks for a medical check-up in town, filling in time between trains. The emptiness of such a day—gazing at shop windows, drinking yet another beer, having nothing to say—is perfectly captured.

The second part, Every Young Man, is even more fragmented, a relaxed mosaic of scenes of life in the barracks, moving and wistful episodes marking the passage fiom boyhood to manhood.

This free-keyed two-part poem was shot by Pavel Juiacek, already celebrated for his Josef Kilian, while doing his own military service. The style is casual, but the mood of these young soldiers is always convincingly captured.

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