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The Seventh Continent (1989)
"Der siebente Kontinent" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  14 April 1993 (France)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 6,434 users  
Reviews: 39 user | 34 critic

A European family who plan on escaping to Australia, seem caught up in their daily routine, only troubled by minor incidents. However, behind their apparent calm and repetitive existence, they are actually planning something sinister.

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Cast

Cast overview:
Birgit Doll ...
Anna Schober
...
Georg Schober
Leni Tanzer ...
Evi Schober
Udo Samel ...
Alexander
Silvia Fenz ...
Optiker Kundin
Robert Dietl
Elisabeth Rath ...
Lehrerin
Georges Kern
Georg Friedrich ...
Störungsdienst der Post
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Storyline

A European family who plan on escaping to Australia, seem caught up in their daily routine, only troubled by minor incidents. However, behind their apparent calm and repetitive existence, they are actually planning something sinister.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

14 April 1993 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Seventh Continent  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First part of Michael Haneke's "Glaciation Trilogy" also including Benny's Video (1992) and 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance (1994). See more »

Quotes

Anna Schober: Have you gone mad?
Evi Schober: Have you gone mad? Why?
Anna Schober: Why? How come you say you're blind? Are you mad?
Evi Schober: I didn't.
Anna Schober: You didn't? Your teacher made it up? Answer me.
Evi Schober: I never said that.
Anna Schober: Look at me. Come on, tell me, did you pretend to be blind? Come on, tell me. I just want to know the truth. Come on. Don't be afraid, I won't hurt you. Is it true? Did you pretend to be blind?
Evi Schober: Yes.
[Anna slaps Evi in the face]
See more »

Connections

Followed by Benny's Video (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

The Power of Love
(uncredited)
Written by Wolfgang Detmann, Gunther Mende, Jennifer Rush and Mary Susan Applegate
Performed by Jennifer Rush
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Powerful, terrible, and profoundly disturbing
18 December 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A middle-class family, consisting of father Georg (Dieter Berner), mother Anna (Birgit Doll), and young daughter Evi (Leni Tanzer) live out their routine daily lives in apparent discomfort. The film is split into three sections - 1987, 1988, and 1989. The first two years, we are given an insight into their thinking as Anna narrates letters written to her parents. We witness the mundaneness of their lives in scenes showing them eating breakfast, at work, going through a car wash, driving in their car. They are trapped by their repetitive surroundings in an unavoidable consumerist world. The third section sees the parents quitting their jobs, buying power tools, and emptying their bank accounts. They tell people they're going to Australia, only they plan to destroy their home and kill themselves.

Haneke is the master of the cold and the uncomfortable. This was his debut feature, only he seemed to have already mastered this skill. In his later films, we witness brutal animal slaughter in Benny's Video (1992), genital mutilation in The Piano Teacher (2001), and possibly the most shocking suicide ever depicted on film in his masterpiece Hidden (2005). In The Seventh Continent, we know what is coming. It is laid out quite early in the film. When it comes, it is every bit as unpleasant as you would hope it wouldn't be. Haneke doesn't need blood or dramatic music. Instead he just lets us hear the last gargled breaths, taking place off-camera, of someone taken an overdose of pills. Powerful, terrible and profoundly disturbing.

Haneke, in my opinion, is the world's greatest living director. Granted, the likes of Godard and Herzog are still making films, but their heyday was in the 1960's and 70's respectively. Haneke is in his prime, and their is no-one is making more skillful films. He based The Seventh Continent on a newspaper article he read about a family that committed suicide in a similar fashion (as we learn over the end credits), and uses it as a commentary on a world obsessed with formality. This is certainly not an enjoyable film, but it is one that will linger with me for a long time, which is similar to the effect Hidden had on me. It will occasionally test your patience (scenes are repeated and their are long periods without dialogue), but its power is undeniable. An assured debut.

www.the-wrath-of-blog.blogspot.com


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