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The Shop on Main Street

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Please don't "ahem" me. I have looked for a thread on this film and I found none.

And that is why I am posting this. Because in my opinion it belongs on a thread in the A&F community.

This is a rare gem from Czechoslovakia. 1965, in black and white, and so poignant.

I quote from the blurb on Netflix : "An inept Slovak peasant is torn between greed and guilt when the corrupt, Nazi-backed bosses of his small town appoint him "Aryan controller" of an old Jewish widow's button shop. Humor and tragedy ... "

And one of the people commenting said : "Somewhere in The Shop on Main Street, we all may catch a glimpse of who and what we really are."

I saw this months ago. It became a part of my life.

And as far as spirituality goes, being torn between greed and guilt and God knows what else, is such a human dilemma.

If I had not been such a newbie when we were recommending films for the 2005 list, I would have without hesitation put this on the list.

Please see it if you haven't. And let's talk about it.


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  • 14 years later...

I nominated The Shop on Main Street for our top 100. It's not as rare as it was when this thread was first started. It's available for streaming on the Criterion Channel. I echo everything Sara said in her post. There's just one thing I want to add. The friendship between the character forced to take the role of a Nazi representative and the old Jewish woman he protects instead of doing the job that he never signed on to takes the film even farther into the realm of spiritual significance. The friendship is an expression of hope in a world where no hope existed, an expression of love when hate ruled and an expression of courage when fear was in control.

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