A feature film of which the technical design has amazed many viewers. Philippe Vecchi wrote in Libération that the film must comprise at least three million visual ideas. With the aid of background projection, double takes and the use of colour in the black & white film, Von Trier evokes a terrifying world. He sews confusion and plays a virtuoso game of uncertainly in his story and images. Part of this confusion captured in stunning images is that the film can be described as melodrama as comedy.Location is Germany just after World War Two. The country is in ruins and groups of fascists are still active (the werewolves). A young American of German descent, Leo Kessler, has come to Europe to help build a new world. His idealism is sorely tested when, working as a night-time conductor in the train, he meets Katherina, who is involved with the werewolves and daughter of the railway company Zentropa.Von Trier admits openly in a post-modern way his preference for and reuse of old film genres. For instance Europe includes elements of Orson Welles, Fritz Lang and Alfred Hitchcock. The title Europe is derived from the book America by Franz Kafka. The authors of the screenplay (Von Trier himself and Niels Vorsel) allowed themselves to be inspired by the book. They wanted to make a kind of reversed version: not with aEuropean in America, but with an American in Europe. However even more important is that they wanted to evoke the specific mood of Kafka.Europe forms a trilogy with the films Forbrydelsens element / The element of crime and Epidemic.

Filmmaker
Lars von Trier
Premiere
-
Country
Denmark
Year
1991
Medium
35mm
Length
113’
Language
English, German
Producer
Nordisk Film A/S
Writer
Lars von Trier
Cast
Jean-Marc Barr, Udo Kier