An oddball confusion of a feature as director Lars von Trier (Dancer in the Dark, Melancholia), in (predominantly) stark black and white presents a murky post-Second World War Germany of politics, corruption and greed.

Visually stylised (a singular character of soft colour picked out in a crowded station platform; collaged images; model buildings and trains), Europa sees Leopold Kessler (Jean-Marc Barr – The Big Blue, Lovers) travel from the States and take a job on the German railways, helped by his overly-efficious uncle. Privately-owned by the Hartmann family, Zentropa Rail traverses the country where Kessler finds himself used and at the centre of too much political attention for his liking.

A noir tale, Europa is more pseud than profound, obscure rather than engaging, a Kafka-esque take that looks stunning but where even the seduction of Kessler by the Hartmann daughter (Barbara Sukowa – Hannah Arendt, Lola) is pure artifice.

Rating: 41%

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