A chit-chatting picnic of middle-class friends is suddenly interrupted by the arrival of a few men dressed as officials. The strangers in suits start to playfully harass and control the picnickers, slowly turning them into their subordinates. As a result, a weird as well as wicked power game is enabled, testing tolerance and revealing the dubious identity of all the participants. 
This second feature by Němec stirred up a great controversy with Czechoslovak authorities who saw the film's exploration of oppression and submissiveness as an outspoken critique of communism and its totalitarian agenda. The film was consequently banned and released only two years later, during the short period of the Prague Spring, while Němec gained the reputation of dissident and persona non grata. The political aspects of his brilliant absurdist tale are certainly undeniable, however it goes far beyond them and becomes a timeless allegory of human nature and its will to exert power, seen as negation of freedom. 

Original title
O slavnosti a hostech
Filmmaker
Jan Němec
Country
Czechoslovakia
Year
1966
Medium
35mm
Length
70’
Language
Czech
Producer
Jan Procházka
Production Company
Filmové studio Barrandov
Sales
Národní filmový archív
Writer
Jan Němec, Ester Krumbachová
Cinematography
Jaromír Šofr
Editor
Miroslav Hájek
Production Design
Oldřich Bosák
Sound Design
Jiří Pavlík
Music
Karel Mareš
Cast
Ivan Vyskočil, Jan Klusák, Jiří Němec, Pavel Bošek, Karel Mareš, Evald Schorm, Jana Prachařová