The deserving winner of the top prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival, Michael Haneke's period political epic tells the lacerating saga of collective brutality and guilt in a northern German village two decades before Hitler would take power. The town is troubled by seemingly random acts of violence on animals, property and a few local children. What's happening? Who's to blame? Perhaps everyone, as we discover by following the lives of five prominent families. A kind of mashup of Our Town and Village of the Damned, the film is both draining and enthralling. Other movies don't even consider the enormity of a society's power to crush its people's best instincts. This one said: Don't look away. Look here.
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