Late August at the Hotel Ozone, with its mood of hunger and spiritual emptiness, deserves to be much better known. Within the bleak landscape of nuclear destruction, a band of women prowl in search of a man in order to perpetuate the human race. Surviving by wits and desperation alone, they are reduced to a primeval state of brutality—and grace. A key work of the Czech New Wave, reteaming director Jan Schmidt and screenwriter Pavel Juracek, the film is among an important strain of post-apocalyptic visions in MoMA’s sci-fi exhibition Future Imperfect, including Richard Lester’s The Bed Sitting Room, Geoff Murphy’s The Quiet Earth, Alfred Werker’s It’s Great to Be Alive, and Piotr Szulkin’s O-Bi O-Ba – The End of Civilization.
Konec srpna v Hotelu Ozon (Late August at the Hotel Ozone). 1967. Czechoslovakia. Directed by Jan Schmidt. Screenplay by Pavel Juracek. With Vladímir Hlavaty, Jitka Horejsi, Ondrej Jariabek. In Czech; English subtitles. 77 min.
35mm print courtesy of the Czech Film Archive