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Europa (1991)

 -  Drama  -  27 June 1991 (Germany)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 14,127 users  
Reviews: 57 user | 50 critic

Just after WW2, an American takes a railway job in Germany, but finds his position politically sensitive with various people trying to use him.

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Title: Europa (1991)

Europa (1991) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Leopold Kessler
...
Katharina Hartmann
...
Lawrence Hartmann
Ernst-Hugo Järegård ...
Uncle Kessler
Erik Mørk ...
Pater
Jørgen Reenberg ...
Max Hartmann
Henning Jensen ...
Siggy
...
Colonel Harris
...
Narrator (voice)
Benny Poulsen ...
Steleman
Erno Müller ...
Seifert
Dietrich Kuhlbrodt ...
Inspector
...
Robins
Holger Perfort ...
Mr. Ravenstein
Anne Werner Thomsen ...
Mrs. Ravenstein
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Storyline

An American of German descent arrives in post-war Germany 1945. His uncle gets him a job on the Zentropa train line as a sleeping car conductor. The American's wish is to be neutral to the ongoing purges of loyalists by the Allied forces and do what he can to help a hurting country, but he finds himself being used by both the Americans and the influential family that owns the railroad. After falling in love with the railroad magnate's daughter, he finds that he can't remain neutral and must make some difficult choices. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for scenes of violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Language:

|

Release Date:

27 June 1991 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Europa  »

Box Office

Budget:

DKK 28,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$1,007,001 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (Pathécolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lars von Trier:  the Jew who signs the affidavit clearing the name of the Zentropa owner. See more »

Quotes

[opening lines]
Narrator: You will now listen to my voice. My voice will help you and guide you still deeper into Europa. Every time you hear my voice, with every word and every number, you will enter into a still deeper layer, open, relaxed and receptive. I shall now count from one to ten. On the count of ten, you will be in Europa. I say: one. And as your focus and attention are entirely on my voice, you will slowly begin to relax. Two, your hands and your fingers are getting warmer and heavier. Three, ...
See more »


Soundtracks

Europa Aria
Written by Lars von Trier
Performed by Nina Hagen and Philippe Huttenlocher
Courtesy of Virgin Musique
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User Reviews

Another utterly dazzling film from von Trier.
1 April 1999 | by (Berkeley, CA) – See all my reviews

Zentropa is another von Trier film that manages to tell an authentically interesting story, revel in its own aesthetic beauty, and engage us in questions of metaphysics. The films narration, as described above, sets the gauntlet very high. The often tired flashback/hypnotism/relapse/etc structure poses a certain disaster to most of the films that dare to use it. However, it is pulled off masterfully.

With Zentropa, we must first buy into the introduction. We prepare ourselves to relive these moments, and allow the film to justify its use of this down the tracks. However, we learn very quickly that what we have been sold is not the standard omniscient perspective. It is distorted and fragmented; emotion has been poured on too thick at parts, while in others it is spread too thin. We must accept the story directly from a mind that we considerably mistrust.

The rest of the film tirelessly reconstructs the scenes of this deranged mind. We transition from b&w film, to color. From a nearly mystical hope, to an absurd pessimism. Time moves too slowly, but abruptly jumps ahead too quickly. von Trier understands the architecture of this 'hypnotic' state supremely.

The movie progresses sporadically which is mandatory given the structure. von Trier plays wonderfully with the noir genre, he throws in some espionage, some sex, love, hats and guns. Finally, he skillfully introduces issues of morality, war, and responsibility- adding a rich political dimension to an already layered film.

The final scenes are visually the most beautiful in the movie, and some of my all time personal favorites. The quiet, tenseless moments in this sequence finally allow us to sink into a comfortable pace and an agreeable aesthetic.

Ultimately, von Trier has framed this film around a giant question of reality. As is his standard. The fact that this metaphysical dimension continually impinges upon the film, justifies its validity. The question was artfully asked. And beneath this works a noir film, a veritable feast of imagery, and wonderful performances.


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