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.
A 14-year-old video enthusiast is so caught up in film fantasy that he can no longer relate to the real world, to such an extent that he commits murder and records an on-camera confession for his parents.
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.
Michael Haneke, the best filmmaker working today, expertly captures the abject, horrifyingly ridiculous, paranoia of Kafka in this, one on Hanake's least, still one of the best, films. The idea of that which is absurd, those things that fit in the realm of logic but defy the appreciation of the sane, is given full treatment here. Uhlrich Muhe, as the the completely confused and completely absorbed K., captures the essence of Kafka's confusing, dystopian world view. With the brilliant, brilliant, brilliant Susanne Lothar as Frieda, there are few ways to improve upon this movie. Although it may be challenging to do so, rent all of Michael Haneke's catalog and see all that modern cinema has to offer. These are films that belong to the rest of civilization as we know it.
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