Irish Film Institute -Europa


Director: Lars Von Trier

Europa is set during the first post war winter of a shattered Germany. A naive young German-American Leopold Kessler has come there to work as a railway sleeping car attendant, his return to Europe a gesture of goodwill. But from the start he is met by bad faith and immersed in a phantasmogoric conspiratorial night-world of neo-Nazis, rigid bureaucrats, ghost-like survivors and an occupying power torn between burying Germany and bringing the country back to life.
From the opening shot Trier sets out to mesmerise us with a hypnotic commentary spoken by Max Von Sydow over flashing railway lines, and every scene has a heightened, Expressionist look. The workers towing the sleeping car from its shed resemble the labourers in Metropolis, and Lang’s German movies hang over Europa as do Welles’ The Trial, Samuel Fuller’s Verboten!, the movies of the Danish masters Christensen and Dreyer…

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