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

 |  Drama  |  14 April 1993 (France)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 7,208 users  
Reviews: 39 user | 35 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: Did you like the Mickey your uncle Alex brought you? He loves you very much. You know that? Me too. Do you feel alone sometimes? Do you love dad and me?
[Evi hugs her mother]
Anna Schober: Okay, time to say your prayers.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Send Me Roses
(uncredited)
Written by Günter Mokesch and Karin Raab
Performed by Günter Mokesch and Karin Raab
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Der Siebente Kontinent: Both Fascinating and Disturbing
24 January 2010 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

Der Siebente Kontinent, the first film from the now famed and respected writer/director Michael Haneke, exploring the implications of the mundanity of upper-middle class life, is both fascinating and disturbing.

The film is the story of Georg, Anna and Eva, a small family living in an upper middle class world. Georg is working his way up in the professional world, Anna co-owns an opticians with her emotionally volatile brother, and Eva is a somewhat troublesome schoolgirl.

As the film begins, we are given an insight into the life of this family, the perfunctory drollness with which they carry out the banal tasks of everyday life mingling with the silence and lack of communication between them to create a portrait of a life not lived. Haneke focuses the camera on the table during breakfast, giving us no view of faces, suggesting that the material things in life like food are more important to this family than each other. The emphasis placed on their cursory interactions forms the basis of Haneke's message, showing us the austerity of these people. The image of Australia is used to represent the titular "seventh continent", the family's desire to reach this idyllic world the driving force of the film. The film relies heavily on silence and long unmoving shots, much of its running time focused on static scenes of the family at breakfast, watching television, and performing other routine tasks. This forms the basis for what we are about to see, the unfolding plot both shocking and thought-provoking.

Simplistic in its approach, Der Siebente Kontinent effectively displays the flaws of a materialistic and money driven world, and the consequences these flaws have upon the lives of ordinary people. Owing much to the camera angles and editing, it is an interesting and engaging look at the modern world and its impact on its inhabitants. A powerful debut film, it lays the foundations for the acclaim and success Haneke now enjoys.


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