BIFF17 Happy End

19th August, 2017 (18+)
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  • Director Michael Haneke
  • Cast Jean-Louis Trintignant, Mathieu Kassovitz, Isabelle Huppert
  • Duration 107 min
  • Rating 18+
  • Language French, English
  • Genre Drama, Film Festival
  • Participating Cinemas Palace Barracks, Palace Centro

Synopsis

Infamously provocative director Michael Haneke (Funny Games) returns with a searing new film revolving around the European refugee crisis that rages right outside the bubbles created by the wealthy and the privileged, oblivious to the plight of their fellow humans.

The well-off Laurent family own a booming construction business in northern France, run by the icily cool Anne (Isabelle Huppert), whose frustration grows as her dysfunctional family falls to pieces around her – an irresponsible, drunken loose cannon of a son (Franz Rogowski), an ailing father with dementia (Jean-Louis Trintignant), a cheating brother (Mathieu Kassovitz), an emotionally distant lover (Toby Jones). Only Anne’s savvy teenage niece Eve (Fantine Harduin) seems to be aware that her relatives are sleepwalking through their bleak, loveless, disaffected lives – and it disgusts her.

All the while, barely noticed, refugees fleeing the misery of their former lives are down below in the streets of Calais, poised for another incursion on the tunnel to England.

In his inimitable, lingering, voyeuristic style, Haneke follows these wretched players through surreptitiously-shot video and anonymous Facebook chats, subtly building interlocking narratives and imparting new meaning – alongside a slowly creeping sense of dread and impending fright that should be familiar to his fans. It’s becoming increasingly doubtful this family of disconnected sociopaths will meet a Happy End.

Awards

Official Selection: 70th Cannes Film Festival, 2017

Reviews

  • “Michael Haneke's satanic soap opera of pure sociopathy.” – The Guardian

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