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Case for a Rookie Hangman

Original title
Prípad pro zacínajíciho kata (Case for a Rookie Hangman)
Running time
102 min.
Czechoslovakia Czechoslovakia
Pavel Jurácek (Novel: Jonathan Swift)
Lubos Fiser
Jan Kalis
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Filmové Studio Barrandov
Fantasy. Adventure. Comedy | Satire. Black Comedy. Surrealism
Movie Groups
Jonathan Swift Adaptations
Synopsis / Plot
Czech surreal political and social satire that uses the backdrop of Jonathan Swift's travels of Gulliver in the countries of Balnibari and Laputa, but with an atmosphere that is part Kafka, part Lewis Carroll. The movie contains references to all these works, but also takes many bites out of Czech society, history and politics. The first twenty minutes or so contain a masterpiece of surrealism as a man travels into a strange land by way of dream-logic, his car running away from him, meeting a dead rabbit dressed in trousers and pocket-watch, wandering through a bizarre house where he meets himself as a child and falls down sideways through doors, etc. Most of the movie then wanders into something from Kafka's The Castle, only with absurd humor, as he finds himself battling with strange beaurocracy, breaking odd rules like a day of silence to conserve air, and trying to track down important people that may help him, with continuous distractions and complications. Citizens get executed for absurd, unexplainable reasons, they look forward to visits from the mysterious floating land of Laputa, build thinking machines, and he finds that people at the higher rungs of the hierarchy are never what they seem to be.
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