Shot immediately after the Soviet invasion of 1968, Jakubisko's long-repressed feature focuses on the the three-way relationship that develops between two male friends and a female Jewish orphan as they travail a world ravaged by death and destruction, a war-torn landscape of bombed-out churches and wrecked homes occupied, it seems, only by themselves and birds. Their triangular relationship recalls Truffaut's Jules et Jim, but Jakubisko's heroes have no romantic ideals - they are all orphans, products of an absurd world in which their parents killed each.
With references from Shakespeare to Rabelais, key episodes in Slovak history, and recalling the anarchic air of Věra Chytilová's Daisies, Jakubisko's exhilarating, experimental film is turn playful, surreal and increasingly nightmarish.
The second in a series of essential Slovak classic films to be released by Second Run DVD.
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