Diamonds of the Night (Demanty Noci) 1964 DVD (Region 1 - Playable in North America - The US, Canada, Mexico, etc.) . Czech language, English subtitles. B&W. Directed by Jan Nemec. New price reduction!
Starring: Ladislav Jansky and Antonin Kumbera
Four days in the lives of two Jewish boys (Ladislav Jansky and Antonin Kumbera) who, while being transferred to a concentration camp, jump from the transport and escape into the woods. Physically and mentally exhausted, hungry, lost, and desperate, they scrounge for food and shelter and are later chased and caught by a group of old men, only to be released. As their fatigue increases, the boys begin to hallucinate, imagining that the trees are falling down on them or that swarms of ants are crawling on their bodies. Perhaps even more impressive than the startling visual style--there is much hand-held camerawork, and a sense of realism or, as director Nemec would call it, "dream realism"--is the sound or the lack thereof. Practically without dialog, there are long stretches in which nothing is heard but the ticking of a clock or the sound of breathing.
Another outstanding example of Czech New Wave cinema, based on the writings of Holocaust survivor Arnost Lustig. Stunning.