Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The Inheritors (1998) @ Die Siebtelbauern

Sophie Rois and Simon Schwarz get fresh in a pig-pen for The One-Seventh Farmers.
At a glance:
"Hooray! We now own the shit we work on!"
Die Siebtelbauern (literally: The One-Seventh Farmers) is a most unusual film and I don't mean unusual like Being John Malkovich (1999) or Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). Directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky (the Anatomie movies) and set in early 20th century rural Austria, it tells the story of how seven very poor farmhands work and toil on a miserable valley farm daily until one fine day their landlord is murdered and their lives are changed forever. The dead proprietor was heirless and surprisingly left a will which detailed pronounced insults to all his constantly mistreated workers, yet bequeathed them the said property! The other villagers and land owners are shocked and angry while the lucky seven tries to make sense of their newfound status. Instead of sellin it, they voted to keep the land and work on it themselves. This bold decision disrupts the rigid social order of the village and many people are unhappy. However, as events unfold it becomes apparent that there is more than meets the eye and a dark family secret could hold the key in settlin all affairs. Sounds like an entertainin story, no?
Simon Schwarz
Bad news on the doorstep:
I saw this many years ago but I remember bein disappointed. For that premise, it could have been a grippin drama but it was rather borin and confusin instead. Not sure what the director wanted the audience to derive from the story. It was too subtle to suggest there is a political message underpinnin it and yet too elaborate for one to think that there isn't. However, I enjoyed the Alpine backdrop very much and the scenes of mud-wrestlin in a pig pen or reapin crops from the field added a necessarily authentic rural feel to the movie.
"Nobody can beat me up anymore, right?"
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
The actors did alright by most standards and I particularly liked all the scenes at the dinin table where they discuss what to do next. Enjoyed this film in patches but not too impressed by it generally. With some nudity and sex, it's rated R in the States, whereas in the UK, the DVD release is rated 15. It runs 95 minutes and the disc contains a short cast filmography. Apparently this DVD is now out of print in the UK. Anybody wants to make me an offer for my copy? Actually I might give this a rewatch tonight since I was quite young when I first saw it.★★1/2