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.
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
As of 2017, this is the only film directed by Michael Haneke to have been screened in the official selection of the Cannes Film Festival without playing in the main competition. This is because that year's jury president, Patrice Chéreau, was part of the cast. See more »
This is a stark, dark, unconventional, and unsettling story film. But in the context of that chaos, what it means to be human is beautifully developed. The story revolves around a single French family thrown into the countryside in some post-apocalyptic period. The producer uses an almost documentary approach to the story. This reveals to us the rather drastic and desperate nature of their circumstances, but, unexpectedly, also reveals things like kindness to strangers, forbearance with other's weaknesses, fortitude, and reaching out. These positive human traits are contrasted with those of the stubborn uncaring adolescent boy who would rather hang off in the wood, and venture in only to steal what he wants... the lone Wolf. Its a very engaging and moving work. At one point, I found myself in tears at one particularly heart-rending scene. Humanity at a time of great stress is poignantly pictured, both in its strengths, and in its Sin. The acting is simply incredible, especially the mother and her younger daughter. Unlike the Hollywood films, this film offers no magic solutions, no instant fixes, no easy outs. Goverments have failed, and now common people are paying the price. Society has been reduced to the lowest common denominators. But the film seems to conclude with the idea that recovery is possible, through cooperation and sacrifice. There is some closure to the family's immediate straits. This film has the power to make us think about what we are doing to each other, and what might possibly happen if we let them go over the edge............
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