The Ear is a skilfully made psychological drama, scathingly critical of totalitarianism in all forms. Essentially, just two people feature in this intimate picture – husband and wife Ludvík and Anna, who have grown accustomed to the authorities monitoring them through a prying “ear” in their home. One evening, the couple is gripped by panic, deducing that Ludvík is to be arrested. An anxious and desperate night ensues as the couple breaks down their relationship, one evidently full of compromise and disappointment, and lacking in love. While the film can be viewed as a comment on the oppression of the Stalinist 1950s, its rich style elevates The Ear to a more abstract and timeless critique of the ideologies of total control.
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