Based on Milan Kundera’s novel of the same name, The Joke tells the story of Ludvík Jahn, a man expelled from the Czechoslovak Communist Party for an idle joke to his girlfriend, and the revenge he later seeks through adultery. The film was produced during the political liberalization of the 1968 Prague Spring and contains many scenes which satirize and criticize the country’s communist leadership. Amos Vogel wrote that the film was “possibly the most shattering indictment of totalitarianism to come out of a Communist country”.
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