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Directed by Béla Tarr

Hungary 2000 145 mins.

During the Soviet era in a bleak and brutal unnamed town on the Hungarian plain, a mysterious circus arrives in the dead of night touting the appearance of the biggest whale in the world. Despite the fact that it’s only a carcass, in the following days people gather from miles around, slowly filling the dreary hamlet. János, a young, average citizen, along with his uncle György, a composer in the romantic vein, live a peaceful existence. However, the Prince, the faceless, magnetic authority behind the circus, has the power to incite riots and chaos—which, as the mob increases in size and fury, threatens the already tenuous existence of the small town and its inhabitants. Shot in glorious black and white, meticulously paced, lit, and edited, Werckmeister Harmonies remains one of contemporary cinema’s most influential works.