The structure and pacing should be problems - spanning the military career of one man, focusing too much time in certain whimsical, undramatic moments and skipping over others... but it all works somehow. And in a tender progression unravels the protagonist’s idealism/naivety/delusion with an unexpected emotional honesty. Other films may make Kerr’s roles the centerpiece gimmick (no offense Bunuel), but here it’s just another piece of his psyche, bittersweetly examined. A lovely experience.
Probably Michael Haneke's favorite documentary. It says everything he tried to say with Funny Games but with the grisly details of real world psychology and one nation's violent delusion. This film is about the distance we use to manipulate our moral perception of reality. This relates to not only the subjects being filmed, but the filmmaker himself. He respects his subjects' perception until, finally, he is asked to share his own. The last fifteen minutes of this film are unforgettably powerful.
A challenging watch, in the sense that it’s impossible to determine if it’s one of those movies I saw at the perfect time in my life - or the type that would make me believe I saw it at the perfect time in my life, no matter when in my life that would have occurred. Less challenging in the sense that it’s no mystery this is a beautiful, imaginative film. Like if Pixar remade A Matter of Life and Death after falling in love with jazz.