A medium-length 1962 student graduation film made during Věra Chytilová’s time studying film directing at Prague’s FAMU academy. It sees Chytilová return to the familiar world of modelling, having herself briefly worked in this profession. The protagonist of the story is Marta, who works as a mannequin and appears to be contented. But a chance meeting with a former medical student colleague – Marta having dropped out of the course – exposes a figurative “ceiling” which boxes in the young woman’s comfortable and successful existence. To a certain extent, the character of Marta mirrors the reality of the woman portraying her – non-actress Marta Kaňkovská. But the story is chiefly a fictional one, and its primary focus is Chytilová’s favourite theme, namely emancipation. For many of the female characters in Chytilová’s films battle, often in vain, to extricate themselves from an existential stereotype. This documentary-style film also features a number of future celebrities of the Czechoslovak New Wave film scene, including fellow FAMU students Jiří Menzel and Miloš Forman.
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