It’s 1942 in a town of the Nazi-run puppet state of Slovakia. The local party leader Markuš Kolkotský commands his brother-in-law Tóno Brtko to watch over a Jewish shop on the main street, which is owned by an old woman, Mrs Lautmannová. He is supposed to be acting as a so-called “Aryan trustee”. Tóno, who does not have any political ambitions whatsoever, feels sorry for the old lady, whereas his wife Eveliná believes that they can become rich due to the woman’s “fortune”. While he pretends to his wife that he is making money from the shop, Tóno in fact helps Mrs Lautmannová, who, in reality, is very poor. When the Nazis and their henchmen start to deport Jewish people, things become more and more complicated. Tóno must make a decision. The film, directed by Jan Kádár and Elmar Klos in 1966, is still said to be the best Czechoslovakian film of all time. The Shop on Main Street was awarded many prizes at the time of its making for its formal qualities and for its deeply humanistic message. The Academy Award 1966 for Best Foreign Language Film was the cherry on top. Ida Kamińska, starring as Mrs Lautmannová, was nominated again as best actress in 1967. Furthermore, the film was competing for a Palme d’Or in Cannes.

The Shop on Main Street

Original Title

Obchod na korze


Ján Kadár, Elmar Klos


Ján Kadár, Elmar Klos, Ladislav Grosman


Ida Kamińska, Jozef Kroner, Hana Slivková


Feature film


Retrospektive 100 Years






Slovak, Yiddish with Engl. sub.

Running time

128 min.


National Film Archive in Prague


Friday 13.04.

20:30 Breitenseer Lichtspiele