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Zbynek Brynych certainly does not belong to the narrowest circle of leading Czechoslovak film authors, and this war drama is probably the pinnacle of his oeuvre. The film was shot almost in an expressionist style, and “The Fifth Horseman is Fear” deals with the subject of the Holocaust, but in a significantly different way compared to most films. We don’t see gas chambers and concentration camps here, but Brynych deals in a more subtle way with the theme of fear and the psychological effect that Nazi horror had on the inhabitants of wartime Czechoslovakia. From start to finish, the film is a harrowing atmosphere in which the director managed very well to portray the paranoia and fear that reign among people.

And this is based on the example of the residents of a building in Prague where everyone watches everything and follows what is happening around them, hoping that none of the neighbors will do something that could attract the Gestapo and local collaborators to their entrance. Dr. also lives in that building. Braun, a Jewish doctor who is forbidden to practice medicine, and trying to survive in those terrible moments is practically the only mission for him. However, when one day he finds a wounded member of the resistance movement in the corridor of the building, Braun’s medical urge will awaken and he will not be able to just leave the seriously wounded man. He will decide to risk everything to try to find medicine and morphine for the wounded, and during his wanderings through a tormented city full of terrified people, we will realize that the social structure that once existed has completely disintegrated.