Sidewalk of the Oscar-winning film Shop on the Main Street

Sidewalk of the Oscar-winning film Shop on the Main Street

Get to know the locations the filmmakers of the film Shop on the Main Street used when making the movie.

Shop on the Main Street is a Czechoslovak film by directors Jan Kadár and Elmar Klos. It was filmed in 1965 based on a short story by Ladislav Grosman. In 1966, the film won the Oscar in the foreign language film category.  
The plot of the film Shop on the Main Street takes place during the Second World War in a small town. The carpenter Tóno Brtko, an honest and decent man takes over the business of the old Mrs. Lautmann (who is Jewish) under pressure from his wife and high-ranking brother-in-law. Even though the business is unprofitable, Brtko keeps it and pretends to act in line with Aryanization doctrine. The old lady cares for Tóno as a son, and he helps her as best he can. However, the day comes when all the Jews from the town receive a summons to transport. Everyone except Mrs. Lautmann. At first, Tóno tries to hide her, but later he succumbs to the propaganda and convinces her to reveal her true identity and go with the flow. The pressure of events leads Tón Brtko to a borderline life situation. 
This film was shot by a pair of modest directors – Ján Kadár and Elmar Klos. After the initial release, the film met with a great wave of resistance not only from among Slovaks, but also the state apparatus in Prague. The film was finally shown only because the then president Antonín Novotný wanted to harm the Slovak part of the country. The course of events proved how wrong he was.
The Shop on the Main Street won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1966, the New York Film Critics Award, Donatello’s David for Best Foreign Language Film of 1966 and the Czechoslovak Film Critics Award, a year later Ida Kamińska was nominated in the category Best Actress in a Leading Role, received a special honorable mention at the Cannes IFF, the Klement Gottwald State Prize along with J. Kadár, E. Klosa and J. Kroner.
In Sabinov, a project The Shop on the Main Street Sidewalk came into existence. It features 11 boards that point out to the places where the first Czechoslovak Oscar-winning film was made.
Scan the QR code on the information board via the mobile application and a specific scene from the film will appear on your display. Information texts in Slovak, German and English will not only draw the visitor into the story and show them the places where the camera was standing at the time of filming, but thanks to the modern technology viewers will be able to enjoy the atmosphere of the filming. This project aims at boosting tourism in the town and encourages people to see their town in a different light. The message is clear – let the history teach us so we will not repeat the past mistakes. 


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