Adelheid (1969) - Frantisek Vlacil
One of the most powerful Czech films of the era, Frantisek Vlacil's Adelheid ranks more alongside the era's Russian and Hungarian films than with his fellow countrymen. The story deals with the aftermath of WWII (not entirely new to the movement) but the cold isolation of the film evokes the bitter ties of conflicted loyaly found in the more ambiguous films of other nations. A love story blossoms but a cold and detached one, that ultimately leaves one half completely removed. Vlacil stages most of the action in one house where the title character is now working as a maid. The house was owned by her family during the war, but a family of German's naturally lost a little following the armistace. The film is cold but powerful and perhaps its only detraction is the fact that the subject matter has been so painfully covered before.
* as a side note I am still looking for Vlacil's Marketa Lazarova which sounds like one of the best films ever, but likewise far from the norm for his country.
Adelheid is available on VHS courtesy of Facets.