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71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance
Directed by Michael Haneke • 1994 • Austria, Germany
Starring Gabriel Cosmin Urdes, Lukas Miko, Otto Grümandl
The simultaneously random and interconnected nature of modern existence comes into harrowing focus in the despairing final installment of Michael Haneke’s trilogy. Seventy-one intricate, puzzlelike scenes survey the routines of a handful of seemingly unrelated people—including an undocumented Romanian boy living on the streets of Vienna, a couple who are desperate to adopt a child, and a college student on the edge—whose stories collide in a devastating encounter at a bank. The omnipresent drone of television news broadcasts in 71 FRAGMENTS OF A CHRONOLOGY OF CHANCE underscores Haneke’s vision of a numb, dehumanizing world in which emotional estrangement can be punctured only by the shock of sudden violence.