Eight people residing in rundown houses along a highway, the sound of traffic coming through the walls. Eight characters, none of whom we encounter at the peak of a successful, satisfied, and fulfilled life. The worn-out salesclerk at a local shop is trying to provide for her family, but her unemployed hypochondriac of a husband is dragging her down. The unfortunate woman falls for a pimp who shops at her store, but he’s trying to hook up with one of his girls. On top of it all, they’re being watched by a grousy prison guard… Turning from the observational realism of his previous picture The Way Out, director Petr Václav here leans toward a more stylized drama, although one of his traditional themes remains: the characters’ desire to survive and give meaning to their lives. Once again, the strongest, most resolute characters are women, while men are the ones who blame everyone else for their problems except themselves. KVIFF
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