7.6/10
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65 user 59 critic

Europa (1991)

Trailer
1:19 | Trailer
Just after W.W.II, an American takes a railway job in Germany, but finds his position politically sensitive with various people trying to use him.

Director:

Lars von Trier
18 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean-Marc Barr ... Leopold Kessler
Barbara Sukowa ... Katharina Hartmann
Udo Kier ... Lawrence Hartmann
Ernst-Hugo Järegård ... Uncle Kessler
Erik Mørk Erik Mørk ... Pater
Jørgen Reenberg Jørgen Reenberg ... Max Hartmann
Henning Jensen ... Siggy
Eddie Constantine ... Colonel Harris
Max von Sydow ... Narrator (voice)
Benny Poulsen Benny Poulsen ... Steleman
Erno Müller Erno Müller ... Seifert
Dietrich Kuhlbrodt Dietrich Kuhlbrodt ... Inspector
Michael Phillip Simpson Michael Phillip Simpson ... Robins
Holger Perfort Holger Perfort ... Mr. Ravenstein
Anne Werner Thomsen Anne Werner Thomsen ... Mrs. Ravenstein
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Storyline

An American of German descent arrives in post-war Germany 1945. His uncle gets him a job on the Zentropa train line as a sleeping car conductor. The American's wish is to be neutral to the ongoing purges of loyalists by the Allied forces and do what he can to help a hurting country, but he finds himself being used by both the Americans and the influential family that owns the railroad. After falling in love with the railroad magnate's daughter, he finds that he can't remain neutral and must make some difficult choices. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for scenes of violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lars von Trier: [Hypnosis] Max von Sydow's narration. See more »

Goofs

In the transition before Leopold and Katharina get married, Leopold is initially on Katharina's left side before the altar, but at the end of the transition, he is on her right. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Narrator: In the morning, the sleeper has found rest on the bottom of the river. The force of the stream has opened the door and is leading you on. Above your body, people are still alive. Follow the river as days go by. Head for the ocean that mirrors the sky. You want to wake up to free yourself of the image of Europa. But it is not possible.
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Connections

Follows The Element of Crime (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

O Tannenbaum
(uncredited)
Traditional tune, lyrics by Ernst Anschütz based on a song by Melchior Franck
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User Reviews

 
One of the Greatest Films of All Time
3 September 2002 | by WriterDaveSee all my reviews

Someone release this movie on DVD so it can take its hallowed place as one of the greatest films of all time in ten to twenty years when critics and film historians look back on the so-called films of the 1990's and see how vapid they were for the most part, and how Lars Von Trier tried to revolutionize and revitalize the international film world with this masterpiece. As it stands, "Zentropa" (or "Europa" as it is referred to outside the US) is one of the most fascinating and artistic views of the bleakness and almost psychotic uncertainty that oozed out of post WWII Europe, namely the decimated German landscape, whose physical horrors were matched only by the damage to the psyche of its people. Von Trier brilliantly paints his vision on screen. You will feel like you are watching some lost espionage noir classic from the late 1940's with the perfectly lighted black and white scenes, while at the same time feel you are on the brink of something beyond the cutting edge, especially in scenes like the assassination aboard the train. Literally, when you see this movie, you are witnessing the evolution of an art form.

For some reason, Von Trier got caught up in his own Dogma movement shortly after this. And while his "Breaking the Waves" and "Dancer in the Dark" are classics in their own right, it is with "Zentropa" that he truly lifted the art of film making to new and exciting heights. 10/10, ages like a fine wine, and begs for a DVD release.

***Postscript - Criterion released the film on DVD in 2009. Highly recommended.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

27 June 1991 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Zentropa See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

DKK28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,447, 25 May 1992

Gross USA:

$1,007,001

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,007,939
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Black and White | Color (Pathécolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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