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.
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.
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.
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
In an undefined time, the environment has been totally destroyed and now the water is contaminated and the animals have been burned. Georges Laurent travels with her wife Anne Laurent, their teenage daughter Eva and their son Ben from the city to their cabin in the countryside. On the arrival, they find that intruders have broken in the house, and one stranger kills George. Anne, Eva and Ben wander through the village asking for shelter and supplies for their acquaintances, but they refuse to help them. They reach an abandoned barn and spend the night inside. On the next morning, they meet a teenage boy and they walk together to a train station, where they find other survivors. Together, they wait for the train expecting to go to a better place in the middle of the chaos. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Near the end, Ben's nose is bleeding and he is awake and crying. He wipes the blood from his face and more blood seems to run from his nose across his cheek - but when he sniffs and his cheek moves, the stream of blood does not move with the cheek. See more »
Haneke's nightmare vision of a post-apocalyptic world is darkly atmospheric and beautifully photographed. True, there isn't much of a plot and the pace is slow. The film is primarily a mood piece, but a very good one. Unlike the usual end-of-the-world thriller, the characters aren't facing any ghoulish monsters other than each other. This approach lends a striking realism to the movie.
Some of Haneke's films -- especially "Funny Games" -- are marred by heavy-handed social commentary. Happily, this is not a problem in "Time of the Wolf." One can always read politics into any allegory, but it is quite unnecessary in this film. I neither know nor care whether Haneke had a specific political situation in mind; what matters is that the resulting movie stands on its own as an artistic achievement.
8/10. Recommended for fans of grim, moody films.
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