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.
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.
Challenges everything you thought about film narrative
If you're looking for something happy, uplifting, and fun then steer clear of this movie. If you're looking for something easy and simple then steer clear of this movie. If you're looking for something that you can watch with half a brain then avoid this movie like the plague. 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance is an experimental film from visionary mastermind Michael Haneke. The film is 71 different scenes that highlight small tidbits of the lives a seemingly random collection of people. News clips of war and Michael Jackson are spliced into the film as well, creating a disjointed and difficult narrative that in some ways all ties together, but in other ways stays loose and frivolous. The interpretation of this kind of narrative style is at the viewers discretion.
If you're at all familiar with Haneke's work then you'll know not to expect anything straightforward going into this film. If you go into this film knowing nothing about Haneke then may God have mercy on your soul. Not really, just be prepared. This is not an easy film to follow being that there seems to not be much to follow. The majority of the film spends its time laying down the various puzzle pieces with very little rhyme or reason to the distribution of the pieces. Towards the end of the film the pieces begin coming together for a fairly anticlimactic ending that reflects the perpetual sadness of a world full of violence, hardship, neglect, and hatred. You'll never miss Haneke's macabre cynicism in any of this films, and especially not this one.
It's difficult for me to form a steadfast opinion on this film because it is so out there and so difficult to fully comprehend. As always, I respect Michael Haneke for the being the true genius he is. He's created something wholly original and intuitive here, I just can't quite place what it is. There are a lot of lines going in different directions here and they never seem quite seem to meet up. This film challenges the ideas of your typical film narrative and I have to give it kudos for taking such risks and ending up with something that works more or less. 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance isn't a film you just watch, it's something you experience.
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