In winning the Grand Prix at the Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival in 1964, Jan Němec’s drama Diamonds of the Night became the first Czechoslovakian New Wave film to receive an internationally recognised award. The film started the career of one of the most original Czech filmmakers of the 1960s. Diamonds of the Night is based on a short story by Arnošt Lustig and offers a subjective insight into the theme of war. The story begins with two young men fleeing from a train and removing, as they run, long black coats, which have painted in white the letters "KL," the abbreviation for concentration camp. The film employs little dialogue, and documents the boys' escape through forests and swamps, and across rocky terrain. These sequences of flight are interrupted with the dreams, memories, hallucinations, fantasies, and flashbacks of the pair of escapees.
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