Year: 2003
USA: Palm Pictures
UK: Artificial Eye
Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Patrice Chereau, Beatrice Dalle, Olivier Gourmet, Rona Hartner, Maurice Benichou, Brigitte Rouan, Lucas Biscombe, Hakim Taleb, Anaïs Demoustier, Serge Riaboukine, Marilyne Even, Florence Loiret-Caille, Branko Samarovski, Daniel Duval, Thierry Van Werveke, Michaël Abiteboul, Pierre Berriau, Costel Cascaval, Luminita Gheorghiu, Franck Gourlat, François Hauteserre, Maria Hofstätter, Valerie Moreau, Claude Singeot, Ina Strnad, Adriana Trandafir
Director: Michael Haneke
Countries: France / Austria / Germany
Language: French (English subtitles)
UK: 113 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong language and animal slaughter
USA Release Date: 2 July 2004 (Limited Release - Los Angeles)
USA Release Date: 25 June 2004 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 17 October 2003


Michael Haneke's awesome follow-up to his critically acclaimed THE PIANO TEACHER which won the Grand Prix, Best Actress and Best Actor awards at Cannes in 2001, was presented at the Cannes Film Festival 2003, where it screened out of competition because Patrice Chereau was the president of the jury at Cannes and stars in the film which made TIME OF THE WOLF ineligible for the competition. Taking its title from Codex Regius, an ancient Germanic poem which describes the time before the 'Ragnarok' the end of the world, TIME OF THE WOLF is a dark and brutally compelling apocalyptic drama. Reuniting Haneke with Isabelle Huppert, his award-winning star from THE PIANO TEACHER, TIME OF THE WOLF brings together an impressive ensemble cast, including the French speaking talents of Patrice Chereau, Beatrice Dalle, Olivier Gourmet and Serge Riaboukine.

Set in an unnamed European country at an undisclosed time, TIME OF THE WOLF tells the story of a family; Georges (Daniel Duval), Anne (Isabelle Huppert) and their two children Eva and Ben played by newcomers Anaïs Demoustier and Lucas Biscombe. Fleeing the city, the family arrive at their country home, hoping to find refuge and security, only to discover that it is already occupied by strangers. In the ensuing confrontation their lives are changed forever. So begins a long and painful learning process and the discovery that nothing will ever be the same as they journey through a country devastated after a terrible disaster.

Atypical of the explosive, pyrotechnic driven 'Catastrophe' genre favoured by Hollywood, Haneke's end-of-the-world scenario opts for a more realistic approach. Eschewing artifice or special effects, he focuses solely on the day-to-day struggle of his characters as they search for the fundamentals - food, water and shelter. Immersing the audience into the depths of an undefined yet universal world, Haneke's film is a painful portrait of normal people forced to confront the unknown after society's rules have broken down. Jurgen Jurges's astonishing night photography enhances this sense of disorientation.

Haneke's uncompromising vision keys into the current global climate of fear and uncertainty. Demonstrating a profound insight into the essence of human behaviour, he challenges his audience to match their own intellectual engagement against his pared down, rigorous style. Yet even in the harshest of times, there is still hope. The possibility of transcendence and redemption are revealed in the final haunting moments.