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434 Ratings

Diamonds of the Night

Démanty noci

Directed by Jan Němec
Czechoslovakia, 1964
War, Drama


Two young prisoners in a concentration camp escape from a transport hungry, poorly dressed and exhausted, they wander in the woods for three days, only to be caught again by the armed German citizens.

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Diamonds of the Night Directed by Jan Němec
Diamonds of the Night, Němec’s startling debut feature, translates the author’s sense of imminent mortality into a vivid atmosphere of free-floating menace that whips up the novel’s mix of real-time experience, memories, and dreams into one heterogenous montage, eschewing any aesthetic cues to delineate the separate planes.
May 09, 2019
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It’s an almost unbearable work of suspense, and a sobering counterpoint to the vague, muted ennui that typifies the mood of what we might call a cinema of the comfortably oppressed. A need of exertion for subsistence is acknowledged in these films too, but its urgency is more often than not convoluted in a mutable haze of options.
March 17, 2017
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Its opening images—of two nameless young men sprinting desperately through a field, fleeing from a pack of invisible pursuers as gunshots echo in the near distance—waste no time building momentum or laying down exposition. The effect is startling: it’s as if the film has been playing for an hour already and we, its dozing viewers, were just now snapping back into focus.
November 06, 2013
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