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This mesmeric parable of societal collapse is an enigma of transcendent visual, philosophical, and mystical resonance. Adapted from a novel by László Krasznahorkai, Werckmeister Harmonies unfolds in an unknown time in an unnamed village, where, one day, a mysterious circus—complete with an enormous stuffed whale and a shadowy, demagogue-like figure known as the Prince—arrives and appears to awaken a kind of madness in the citizens that builds inexorably toward violence. In thirty-nine hypnotic long takes engraved in ghostly black and white, auteur Béla Tarr and codirector-editor Ágnes Hranitzky conjure an apocalyptic vision of dreamlike dread and fathomless beauty.