The Seventh Continent

Very strange and macabre Austrian movie “The Seventh Continent” (1989) directed by Michael Haneke, starring Dieter Berner, Birgit Doll, Leni Tanzer among others . It was apparently based on a true story which happened earlier. Georg is a successful executive in a company, slated for promotion and doing very well financially. Anna, (Birgit Doll) his wife is running a business in downtown and Eva their daughter is a bright and precocious child. Georg visits his parents at their family home and sometime later quits his job. Anna also hands over her business to her brother Alexander who has had some depression problems earlier on. Eva is pulled out of school. They systematically go about destroying every bit of property and valuables in the house. No method to the madness, no clue why they are doing, no explanations why it has happened. There are long shots of car being washed at a car wash, Eva eating her breakfast. The early part of the movie is focused on their daily activities, like brushing teeth, tying shoe laces, There are very few shots of the family together, except towards the end. The name Seventh Continent is reference to Australia, the family apparently wanted to migrate to Australia, they have shown some beach shots, but no indication whether the family actually applied for migration and it was rejected. This movie was given as an entry in the foreign language film category at the Oscars of that year, but was not accepted by the Academy. It won some award at Locarno and Ghent, but i would’nt call it as an award winning category movie at all. Ending is macabre.

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