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The Seventh Continent
Directed by Michael Haneke • 1989 • Austria
Starring Birgit Doll, Dieter Berner, Leni Tanzer
The day-to-day routines of a seemingly ordinary Austrian family begin to take on a sinister complexion in Michael Haneke’s chilling portrait of bourgeois anomie giving way to shocking self-destruction. Inspired by a true story, the director’s first theatrical feature finds him fully in command of his style, observing with clinical detachment the spiritual emptiness of consumer culture—and the horror that lurks beneath its placid surfaces. THE SEVENTH CONTINENT builds to an annihilating encounter with the televisual void that powerfully synthesizes Haneke’s ideas about the link between violence and our culture of manufactured emotion.