Haneke meets Bergman when teen angst comes home to roost in adulthood
This Haneke follow up explores consequences (literally the injuries) of the earlier characters' inability to care or forge bonds of love and empathy. Alienation, separation, and an inability to connect frame the significant relationships here: between Christian and Evi; between Fritz and his wife, who's hysterical outburst is presented as a rational counterpoint to suppressed angst and bourgeois correctedness; and Fritz and Evi, a failed coupling that retreads old territory but through which they cannot find salvation. The injuries of the title are the emotional injuries that we cause each other because we don't know how to love each other properly. In this installment, Evi says of Christian to Fritz, "I told him I was becoming indifferent, but he didn't pay attention, and then it's too late." Thus the die is cast. Later, however, there are innocent victims children, other adults, etc. This follow-up film is in some ways a prequel to the first, suggesting that as parents are formed, so will they form their children: not to love but to disregard; not to empathize but to seek self-fulfillment. But the spirit is post -Bergman existentialism: cast out in the earlier installment from a cold and distant family, here Sigrid's cries alone on a hospital gurney. Having Sigrid approached her clergy with regrets about her near-term baby but he is unable to offer any solace beyond a drink. Part II adds to it the sense of loss, of time passed, and to the profound pain of ultimately being alone.
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