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3,100 Ratings


Directed by Lars von Trier
Denmark, Spain, 1991
Drama, History, Avant-Garde


American pacifist (and naive) Leopold Kessler stumbles into a job as a sleeping-car conductor for the Zentropa railways in a Kafkaesque 1945 postwar Frankfurt, where he gets caught in a whirlpool of conspiracies and Nazi sympathisers. A runaway-train ride to an oddly futuristic past.

Our take

This early triumph by Lars von Trier, which won no less than three prizes at Cannes, is one of his most bizarre yet accessible works: a feverish retooling of film noir, an unhinged thriller, and a visually mind-blowing odyssey into a nightmare of our past.

Europa Directed by Lars von Trier

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

1991 | 3 wins including: Best Artistic Contribution

1991 | Nominee: Palme d'Or

European Film Awards

1992 | 2 nominations including: European Actress of the Year

Critics reviews

[Zentropa] addresses so many fundamental contemporary questions about postmodernism, language, colonialism, the Common Market, coproduction, the future of European cinema, and our collective memory of World War II that one may feel a mite churlish pointing out that its technique ultimately overwhelms the themes and characters. After all, exercices de styleworthy of the name are not exactly plentiful these days, and Zentropa is an especially dazzling example…
July 03, 1992
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