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Time Of The Wolf [DVD] 
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Isabelle Huppert stars in this tense post-apocalyptic drama, set in a world in which society has completely broken down. Anne (Huppert) flees the city with her husband and two children, hoping to find refuge at the family's country home. But when they arrive they realise they have made a terrible mistake, and must embark on a harrowing journey across a land devasted by disaster.
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Top Customer Reviews
The family's world unravels in a single brutal moment and the ensuing quest for sanctuary is a compelling human drama enacted with economy and understatement even when emotions are fierce and raw.
While we recognise how thin the veneer of civilisation can be when society breaks down the narrative of Haneke's film also subtley demonstrates the collective urge to organise and for natural leaders to emerge as a fundamental human trait.
Running through the film is a narrative thread, a post-apocalyptic fable, which informs the film's shocking but powerfully humane denouement.
The film is without music and the cinematography is artful but unobtrusive allowing the audience to focus on some superbly naturalistic performances including those of Huppert and especially Anais Demoustier who plays Eva, the young teenage daughter.
This is an end of the world story, but it eschews Mad Max style action to look at human reactions, from the mother slowly coming apart, to the daughter who fights on, to the young boy who suffers in silence. The world quickly loses its laws and its justice and life becomes squalid. And so the story feels realistic, feels like this is how things would go if the world ended. Which of course means that it is also a microcosm of our life today.
It's a dark little tale, which only shows a little hope in the human kindnesses that are done. It's rife with little biblical touches, and the sudden explosion in population suggests it is also human history potted into a little under two hours.
If you want laughs or action, you won't get it. But if you want a human drama, intended to make you think about how we live our lives, then you should be pleasantly surprised.
I believe that the title "Time of the Wolf" belongs to Norse myth and Ragnarok - the Twilight of the Gods. Norse mythology is one where even the Gods die.
Tied to this concept is the Legend of the Just. Which I must admit is new to me. This concerns the idea of a handful of people who throughout time have been prepared to sacrifice themselves through self-immolation to save mankind and rekindle the protection of the Gods.
I am not too concerned with comments that this movie is bleak - Apocalypse isn't generally known for its laughs. Some reviews find it frustrating that the disaster is not described but I found a clue in a drawing pinned to the wall...
There is much that is emotionally stirring in the movie: a relationship between Eva and the feral boy who dares not trust; and of course a mother who must protect her children.
There are intellectually interesting themes too: the culture of romance that has developed over male-female relations is stripped bare. Men are either protectors and providers or alternatively predators and thieves? At the desolate railway station the main characters end up, that reading is too simplistic.
Of course, when a society comes under pressure the first victims are foreigners and here I began to sense a theme to Haneke's work.
Those that see nothing in this movie may have been conditioned by the Hollywood dream-factory formula of love, trust yourself and redemption themes. Those themes that are recycled again and again and are warm and comfortable but ultimately don't unsettle or stretch your mind.
A world has collapsed, but not completely, the supply centres have been thwarted. A slow film for those requiring car chases and big bangs, this offers none, just the day to day struggle of a social world that has stopped rather than been obliterated. So no mad max stunts, or lord of the flies manhunts, other elements of both are gently integrated rather than obviously built upon.
Reminds me of the Survivors series of 1970's Britain, as we are led into the woods and barren fields of the countryside, as elements of the french round up emerge, along with paranoia.
The ending becomes another question, but given that Haneke asks deep psychological questions rather than states the obvious, the film has to be worked out to individual taste rather than the viewer being forced fed rusks to help with a smooth diet. This way the film lingers rather than evapourates.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Tedious.The first five minutes is promising and then.....???Published 11 months ago by Nice_Lieutenant
A really interesting film, yet it's incredibly heavy and bleak. It's reminiscent of the writings of Schopenhauer or Nietzsche. Do not watch with a hangover.Published 18 months ago by Tristan Verran
A fairly mundane, if realistic apocalypse film, but fails to shine because it's too pedestrian.Published 24 months ago by Stuart Deckard
I'm American and I am in love with this DvD.. Watching foreign TV is amazing and fun. I'm in awe of how great the storytelling and love the actors roles. Read morePublished on 16 Feb. 2014 by noah
This 2003 film by Austrian film-maker Michael Haneke is, for me at least, one of his less impressive works. Read morePublished on 18 Feb. 2013 by Keith M
This is one of the Best Post-Apocalyptic sequences ever.
You may have to watch it a few times to get the important, small charisms out. Read more
This is a great realistic account of a post appocalyptic world set within well off western society, swathed in symbolism, depicting how humanity copes when pushed to the edge of... Read morePublished on 14 Mar. 2012 by wise old sam
Interesting Haneke film, puzzling and perhaps I have been duped yet again! Haneke has this habit of making me feel that I have just been exploited yet again. Read morePublished on 1 Dec. 2010 by Steve W