Strange events happen in a small village in the north of Germany during the years just before World War I, which seem to be ritual punishment. The abused and suppressed children of the villagers seem to be at the heart of this mystery.
I was drawn to the film by the "experimental" description, but it ends up being sort of a raw film verite crossed with a hand-held documentary in a fiction film. Perhaps its thesis is that the unnatural workings of civilization lead to crime being natural.
But then there's Michael Jackson, inserted twice through entertainment news clips to reinforce the notion that our environment produces us and not vice versa? Add in several long uncut scenes (the film prides itself on unique if not entirely absent editing, hence the Chance nature), and this is a tough watch for me, at least these days. One of the long cuts, the father/grandfather conversation was surely supposed to help us sympathize with alienation in the old-is-obsolete culture. The ping-pong practice? Well, I guess that is repetition of tasks and specialization reduced to meaningless. These thoughts are strictly afterthoughts, during the film both scenes were less readily endured.
Honestly, I think I would review films differently without kids and thus having more time. And this one might benefit from a hearty discussion with friends, or seeing it in a festival format with the director (who was the reason I stumbled across this film). But I'd skip it if given a second chance.
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