Hot Summer Shadows | Chicago Reader

Hot Summer Shadows

This atmospheric hostage drama by Frantisek Vlacil (1977, 99 min.) has been called an allegory for the 1968 occupation of Czechoslovakia, but it plays more like a spaghetti western. A young man raising his family on an isolated ancestral farm (Juraj Kukura) is taunted by townspeople for avoiding partisan politics during World War II. After his home is invaded by vicious guerrillas he proves his courage by patiently plotting his revenge, and Vlacil wrings as much tension as possible from the waiting game, aping Sergio Leone with tight close-ups and a nerve-jangling score. In Czech and German with subtitles. 99 min.

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