The Seventh Continent

The Seventh Continent ★★★★★

I love Michael Haneke's films. He may not always be the easiest filmmaker to want to come back to, but every experience I have with watching his films always comes out rewarding after witnessing the dark, brutal, or cold worlds that he brings to the screen.

Being his feature film debut, The Seventh Continent is a film all about boredom. Telling the story of a middle-class Austrian family over the course of three years, this is a film all about yearning to escape the monotony of their daily life. But as expected from Haneke, he also gives you a glimpse at how the monotony can break the lives of people who seemed familiar to you, and the coldness to his approach only emphasizes how discomforting a watch this film can grow to become. It repeats itself, but in Haneke's eyes, that repetition of overtly familiar concepts becomes strenuous, akin to feeling like you're in a prison.

I'll also go back to the fact that this was Haneke's feature film debut by pointing out that he was a television director prior to directing The Seventh Continent; which also are among the most prominent recurring images in his work. In The Seventh Continent, it's already establishing some sort of media critique, among his most notable trademarks - yet the sights of such images in here only leave us wondering if our escapism through the media proves itself fruitful, or remains so meaningless.

But that bleakness is what makes Haneke's films so beautiful to me, because of what it reflects about the world where we live in.

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