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By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky
Columbia TriStar 10/98 DVD/VHS Feature Film
This German film set in rural Austria prior to World War II is narrated by Severin (Lars Rudolph), a peasant worker on the Hillinger farm. After the owner is slain by a mysterious elderly woman (Elisabeth Orth), it is learned that he has left the property to his seven field hands, noting in his will that he hopes they kill each other fighting over it.
Writer and director Stefan Ruzowitzky has fashioned a rowdy, bawdy, and clever morality tale about the elixir of freedom and the eternal clash between the haves and the have-nots. Lukas (Simon Schwarz), an illiterate and winsome fellow, spearheads the drive to make a success of the farm. But the real force behind their heroic efforts is Emmy (Sophie Rois), a feisty woman, who has a reputation in the community for being nothing more than a whore. But when Danninger (Ulrich Wildgruber), the richest farmer in the region, squares off with her, he knows he's up against a dangerous opponent of the established order. He tells her, "God wants things the way they are and that's all there is to it." Despite the predictable violent finale, The Inheritors will satisfy movie-goers looking for an unusual film.
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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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