The legendary award-winning adaptation of novella by Bohumil Hrabal tells the coming-of-age story of the young and inexperienced Miloš Hrma, serving as a station guard in central Bohemia at the close of the Second World War. Rather than taking an interest in the impending collapse of Nazi Germany, the timid young man focuses his attentions on women – as he seeks to lose his virginity and become a man. The lovely conductor Máša becomes the target of his efforts. Miloš’s colleagues, the station chief and dispatcher, may be opposed in spirit to the Nazi occupation, but given the tough penalties for resistance, choose to focus instead on day-to-day personal affairs. But among the duties of the railway staff is the requirement that they pay special attention to “closely watched trains” carrying armaments to the front. Ultimately, even Miloš ends up faced by a moment in which he has to partake in the “bigger” historical picture.
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