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A Report on the Party and Guests (1966) - Plot Summary Poster

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Summaries

  • A small group of adult bourgeois friends are on a day outing in the country, that outing which includes having a picnic. While they are going for a walk after the picnic, they encounter a group of officious looking men who commandeer them to a small clearing. Although there is no direct threat and the picnickers are not scared, they nonetheless feel the need to do what the men say. The men, led by one called Rudolph, set the rules of "the game". Ultimately, the picnickers learn that Rudolph was supposed to invite them to a party nearby. Much like the game, the party's host sets the rules for the party to which the picnickers and all the other guests must abide. Order in the eyes of the host seems to be paramount. Although the picnickers and the other guests enjoy many aspects of the party, some just do not want to be there, such thinking which cannot be tolerated.

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  • Distinguished by being "banned forever" in its native Czech Republic, Jan Nemec's "A Report on the Party" is a great film from the flowering of the Czech cinema in the 1960s. It is a political thriller that satirizes unquestionable conformity. A group of happy picnickers on their way to a birthday banquet are accosted by a group of strangers led by a bullying sadist who has an unbreakable hold over his followers. The master finally discovers them and puts an end to the charade, inviting everyone to a nonsensical, but elegant and formal banquet outdoors. Nemec documents the process of self-deception and rationalization which lead to an acceptance of constraint; free will and freedom are seen as difficult to maintain and easily discarded. The affair is bizarre, and ends when one of the guests (played by film director Evald Schorm) chooses not to remain and escapes. His compatriots agree that he must be recaptured, and the group arms and hunts him down. The film concludes with the nightmarish barking of search dogs.


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