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Europa (1991) More at IMDbPro »

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Europa -- Trailer for the experimental film set in postwar Germany
Europa -- 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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7.7/10   15,032 votes »
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Release Date:
27 June 1991 (Germany) See more »
Just after WW2, an American takes a railway job in Germany, but finds his position politically sensitive with various people trying to use him. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
16 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Abandon Personal Restraint for This Purely Visceral, Sardonic Work of Bizarre Nostalgia. See more (59 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jean-Marc Barr ... Leopold Kessler

Barbara Sukowa ... Katharina Hartmann

Udo Kier ... Lawrence Hartmann
Ernst-Hugo Järegård ... Uncle Kessler
Erik Mørk ... Pater
Jørgen Reenberg ... Max Hartmann
Henning Jensen ... Siggy

Eddie Constantine ... Colonel Harris

Max von Sydow ... Narrator (voice)
Benny Poulsen ... Steleman
Erno Müller ... Seifert
Dietrich Kuhlbrodt ... Inspector

Michael Phillip Simpson ... Robins
Holger Perfort ... Mr. Ravenstein
Anne Werner Thomsen ... Mrs. Ravenstein
Hardy Rafn ... Man in Housecoat
Cæcilia Holbek Trier ... Maid
János Herskó ... Jewish Man
Talila ... Jewish Wife
Claus Flygare ... Father
Jon Ledin ... American Soldier

Baard Owe ... Man with Papers
Leif Magnusson ... Doctor Magnus

Lars von Trier ... Jew
Vera Gebuhr ... Depot Assistant
Else Petersen ... Old Female Assistant
Ben Zimet ... Old Man 1
Tadek Lokcinski ... Old Man 2 (as Thadee Lokcinski)
Peter Haugstrup ... Piccolo

Directed by
Lars von Trier 
Writing credits
Lars von Trier  &
Niels Vørsel 

Produced by
Philippe Bober .... associate producer
Bo Christensen .... producer
François Duplat .... executive producer
Patrick Godeau .... executive producer
Peter Aalbæk Jensen .... producer
Gérard Mital .... executive producer
Gunnar Obel .... executive producer
Original Music by
Joachim Holbek  (as Joakim Holbek)
Cinematography by
Henning Bendtsen 
Edward Klosinski  (as Edward Klosinsky)
Jean-Paul Meurisse 
Film Editing by
Hervé Schneid  (as Herve Schneid)
Casting by
Rie Hedegaard 
Production Design by
Henning Bahs 
Costume Design by
Manon Rasmussen 
Makeup Department
Isabelle de Araujo .... makeup artist
Sanne Gravfort .... hair stylist
Morten Jacobsen .... key makeup artist
Dennis Knudsen .... hair stylist
Jolanta Pruszynska .... makeup artist: Poland
Production Management
Wieslawa Borecka .... production manager: Poland
Philippe Guez .... production supervisor
Thomas Heinesen .... production manager: second unit
Lars Kolvig .... production supervisor
Lene Nielsen .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Tómas Gislason .... assistant director: second unit
Egon Haase .... second assistant director
Elizabeth Frey Harne .... second assistant director
Tom Hedegaard .... first assistant director
Janusz Petelski .... assistant director: Poland
Art Department
Andrzej Borecki .... production designer: Poland
Søren Gam .... property master (as Søren G. Henriksen)
Peter Grant .... property master
Simone Grau .... assistant props (as Simone Grau Larsen)
Emil Kostecki .... property master: Poland
Bogdan Piotrowski .... property master: Poland
Finn Skovgaard .... storyboard artist
Kazimierz Stys .... property master: Poland
Gitte Zehngraff .... assistant production designer
Sound Department
Pierre Excoffier .... sound recordist (as Pierre Excoffier)
Philippe Fabbri .... boom operator
Henrik Garnov .... dubbing engineer
Carl Aage Hansen .... sound effects
Thomas Krag .... sound
Per Meinertsen .... sound engineer
Julien Naudin .... sound effects
John Nielsen .... boom operator
Per Streit .... sound designer (as Per Streit Jensen)
Visual Effects by
Jan-Erik Sandberg .... optical effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Jan Andersen .... lighting assistant
Bo Bendtsen .... clapper loader
Jakob Bonfils .... grip
Jesper Find .... first assistant camera
Andrzej Gierak .... lighting technician: Poland
Tomasz Habrewicz .... assistant camera: Poland
Jørgen Johansen .... electrician
Ireneusz Kisielewicz .... lighting technician: Poland
Rolf Konow .... still photographer
Krzysztof Koperski .... lighting technician: Poland
Jean-Yves Le Poulain .... assistant camera
Marek Modzelewski .... lighting technician: Poland
Thomas Neivelt .... lighting technician
Tadeusz Obuchowicz .... assistant camera: Poland
Jacek Stachlewski .... camera operator: Poland
Søren Sørensen .... lighting technician
Roman Taborski .... lighting technician: Poland
Mike Valentine .... underwater camera operator
Henryk Wingert .... lighting technician: Poland
Casting Department
Annette Grunnet .... casting coordinator
Rie Hedegaard .... casting coordinator (as Marie Louise Hedegaard)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Malgorzata Brus .... wardrobe assistant: Poland (as Malgorzata Zduleczny)
Hanna Golebiowska .... wardrobe assistant: Poland
Ole Kofoed .... wardrobe
Malou Listoft .... wardrobe
Anna Rychlik .... wardrobe assistant: Poland
Helena Tarnacka .... wardrobe assistant: Poland
Editorial Department
Urszula Lesiak .... assistant editor
Michael Frank Nielsen .... color timer
Other crew
Sabelle Arcay .... production assistant
Britt Bendixen .... choreographer
Ewa Borek .... production assistant: Poland
Erik Crone .... production assistant
Linda Daae .... continuity
Tómas Gislason .... continuity
Tómas Gislason .... shooting script
Józef Jarosz .... production assistant: Poland (as Jozef Jarosz)
Julian Jencquel .... production runner
Lisbet Matz .... production assistant
Mouns Overgaard .... production staff
Zdzislaw Sajuk .... production assistant: Poland
Monica Steenberg .... production assistant
Françoise Valentine .... underwater coordinator (as Fran Valentine)
Lars von Trier .... continuity
Lars von Trier .... shooting script

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Zentropa" - USA
See more »
Rated R for scenes of violence
112 min
Black and White | Color (Pathécolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Director Trademark: [Lars von Trier] [Hypnosis]Max von Sydow's narration.See more »
[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...
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Antichrist (2009)See more »
Europa AriaSee more »


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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Abandon Personal Restraint for This Purely Visceral, Sardonic Work of Bizarre Nostalgia., 21 September 2009
Author: jzappa from Cincinnati, OH, United States

Released as Zentropa in North America to avoid confusion with Agniezska Holland's own Holocaust film Europa Europa, this third theatrical feature by a filmmaker who never ceases to surprise, inspire or downright shock is a bizarre, nostalgic, elaborate film about a naive American in Germany shortly following the end of WWII. The American, named Leo, doesn't fully get what he's doing there. He has come to take part in fixing up the country since, in his mind, it's about time Germany was shown some charity. No matter how that sounds, he is not a Nazi sympathizer or so much as especially pro-German, merely mixed up. His uncle, who works on the railroad, gets Leo a job as a helmsman on a sleeping car, and he is increasingly enmeshed in a vortex of 1945 Germany's horrors and enigmas.

This progression starts when Leo, played rather memorably by the calm yet restless actor Jean-Marc Barr, meets a sultry heiress on the train played by Barbara Sukowa, an actress with gentility on the surface but internal vigor. She seduces him and then takes him home to meet her family, which owns the company which manufactures the trains. These were the precise trains that took Jews to their deaths during the war, but now they run a drab day-to-day timetable, and the woman's Uncle Kessler postures as another one of those good Germans who were just doing their jobs. There is also Udo Kier, the tremendous actor who blew me away in Von Trier's shocking second film Epidemic, though here he is mere scenery.

Another guest at the house is Eddie Constantine, an actor with a quiet strength, playing a somber American intelligence man. He can confirm that Uncle Kessler was a war criminal, though it is all completely baffling to Leo. Americans have been characterized as gullible rubes out of their element for decades, but little have they been more blithely unconcerned than Leo, who goes back to his job on what gradually looks like his own customized death train.

The story is told in a purposely uncoordinated manner by the film's Danish director, Lars Von Trier, whose anchor is in the film's breathtaking editing and cinematography. He shoots in black and white and color, he uses double-exposures, optical effects and trick photography, having actors interact with rear-projected footage, he places his characters inside a richly shaded visceral world so that they sometimes feel like insects, caught between glass for our more precise survey.

This Grand Jury Prize-winning surrealist work is allegorical, but maybe in a distinct tone for every viewer. I interpret it as a film about the last legs of Nazism, symbolized by the train, and the ethical accountability of Americans and others who appeared too late to salvage the martyrs of these trains and the camps where they distributed their condemned shiploads. During the time frame of the movie, and the Nazi state, and such significance to the train, are dead, but like decapitated chickens they persist in jolting through their reflexes.

The characters, music, dialogue, and plot are deliberately hammy and almost satirically procured from film noir conventions. The most entrancing points in the movie are the entirely cinematographic ones. Two trains halting back and forth, Barr on one and Sukowa on another. An underwater shot of proliferating blood. An uncommonly expressive sequence on what it must be like to drown. And most metaphysically affecting of all, an anesthetic shot of train tracks, as Max von Sydow's voice allures us to hark back to Europe with him, and abandon our personal restraint.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (59 total) »

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Europa (1991)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Wouldn't it be cool to see it in HD? flaviostiavetti
Franz Kafka's America daniel_man38
I am so confused! citybum
Zentropa alludes to Closely Watched Trains? peter-gitto
Denazification is one of the subjects of the film... mlovmo-2
Black G.I. mmsonnabend
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