Kino immer anders

The term of office of the 85-year-old chairman of the local fire brigade is to be decided with a big ball. The festivities include live music, a sweeping tombola and the coronation of a «Miss Firemen’s Ball». But already during the preparations the firefighters show up as a scatterbrain and completely incapable of establishing order: One tombola prize after the other disappears in a «mysterious» fashion and the beauty pageant ends in an organizational fiasco. On top of everything, the organizers not only have no idea how to throw a party – their reaction to an actual fire could not be any more chaotic.

With the invasion of Prague by Soviet troops in August 1968, the so-called «Prague Spring» ended, a period of political liberalization and loosening of censorship regulations. It is not surprising that The Firemen’s Ball with its subversive depiction of authority figures was «banned forever» after the change of leadership in 1969. Today, this hilarious satire has cult status. Forman involuntarily emigrated to the USA and became a star director with several Oscar-winning films like Amadeus and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Nico Uebersax

Übersetzung: Carlos Hartmann

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