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930 Ratings

The Firemen's Ball

Hoří, má panenko

Directed by Miloš Forman
Italy, Czechoslovakia, 1967
Comedy, Drama


A milestone of the Czech New Wave, Miloš Forman’s first color film The Firemen’s Ball (Hoří, má panenko) is both a dazzling comedy and a provocative political satire. A hilarious saga of good intentions confounded, the story chronicles a firemen’s ball where nothing goes right.

The Firemen's Ball Directed by Miloš Forman

Critics reviews

The contemporary film movements from former Soviet Bloc countries—particularly Romania and Bosnia—identify with their traumas and open their veins. The Firemen’s Ball, though pessimistic, reflects the Czech sensibility characterized by an appreciation for the absurd, a howl of laughter in the face of danger.
April 16, 2018
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Amid the madness — filmed with a documentary-style spontaneity, thanks to a cast of nonprofessionals, which included real firemen — an irreverent and comically bitter vision of bureaucracy and authoritarianism emerges. Humans want to be free, and will seize the first chance they get to be free; in Forman’s world, anyone who seeks to control others’ behavior is bound to fail, often spectacularly.
April 15, 2018
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In 1967, the year before Soviet tanks rampaged through Czechoslovakia, the Czech director Milos Forman subtly, scathingly used the premise of a quaint provincial party to mock the Party.
September 15, 2017
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