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Michael Haneke's debut feature foretells the artistry of his later masterworks. Based on a news story that the director read by chance, The Seventh Continent follows three years in the lives of an average middle-class Austrian family disillusioned by the emptiness and dull routines of their days. Husband Georg, wife Anna, and daughter Eva decide to discover for themselves the nirvana suggested by an Australian tourism poster they pass each day. Typical for Haneke's work, the conclusion is both shocking and redemptive. "It's not a portrait of Austria. It's a portrait of rich countries," Haneke maintains. (Michael Haneke, 1989, 35 mm, subtitles, 111 minutes)