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Time of the Wolf

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DVD 1-Disc Version
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Product Details

  • Actors: Isabelle Huppert, Anaïs Demoustier, Béatrice Dalle, Patrice Chéreau, Hakim Taleb
  • Directors: Michael Haneke
  • Writers: Michael Haneke
  • Producers: Margaret Ménégoz, Michael Katz, Michael Weber, Veit Heiduschka
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Palm Pictures / Umvd
  • DVD Release Date: December 14, 2004
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.
  • ASIN: B00062134E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,114 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Time of the Wolf" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

TIME OF THE WOLF reunites award-winning French actress Isabelle Huppert with director Michael Haneke after the international success of their celebrated film, The Piano Teacher. In addition, TIME OF THE WOLF features an A-list cast of France's top actors, including Olivier Gourmet (The Son, Read My Lips), Beatrice Dall (Betty Blue) and Patrice Chearau (the director of Intimacy and Those That Love Me Can Take The Train). An extremely timely and prescient piece of social commentary, TIME OF THE WOLF follows a family's difficult journey immediately after an unknown apocalyptic event. Haneke never tells us what happened, or where, or when, but instead puts us directly into the terrifying aftermath, with all of its confusion, uncertainty, and danger. As all social laws and codes are suddenly overturned, Haneke asks us to find our own way through. TIME OF THE WOLF is Haneke's most intense film and also his most hopeful.


The post-apocalyptic world of Time of the Wolf is never explained, but becomes all the more hypnotic for it. A mother (Isabelle Huppert, I Heart Huckabees, 8 Femmes) struggles to keep her teenage daughter and young son alive after a social collapse of unknown causes. The family, accompanied by a semi-feral teenage boy, finds a train station where other survivors have collected in an uneasy alliance. Time of the Wolf doesn't have much of a story, but its depiction of human behavior at the breaking point is stark and convincing. The always compelling Huppert and director Michael Haneke previously worked together on The Piano Teacher; Time of the Wolf lacks that movie's psychological focus, but it creates a dark world through simple but evocative means. Also featuring Beatrice Dalle (Betty Blue) and Olivier Gourmet (The Son). --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

It's enough to break your heart, this chilling opening.
Like The Road, we are not told what caused the disaster we see, but unlike The Road we do not see a devastated landscape.
The movie was too boring and aloof for me to care much at that point.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 31, 2004
Format: DVD
Time of the Wolf (Le Temps du Loup) begins with an opening similar to Funny Games, also by Michael Haneke, where a family arrives to their vacation home where they are brutalized. The story is focused on the distressed Anna (Isabelle Huppert) and her two children, Ben and Eva, in a fallen civilization where they have to survive. However, the naive mother Anna slowly comes to the realization that there is no one willing to help them with their basic needs: water, food, and shelter. Disheartened the family continues to drift as they eventually find shelter in a small barn, but when Ben disappears they accidentally burn it down and they are once again without shelter. These catastrophic events continue with further predicaments as there seems to be no end to the family's suffering. The dark atmosphere grows gloomier as people exhibit xenophobia and extreme cynicism that colors radical religious beliefs in a tribal environment. This tribal environment becomes a foundation where women's rights regress to having minimal meaning such as when they must trade their body for what they need in order to survive. All these miserable events sum up the ending where the disturbing finale functions like a Phoenix raising from ashes.

Time of the Wolf is based on an ancient German poem about the time before the end of the world. This is not an exclusively German myth as folklore from the Vikings and Celts also associated the wolf with destruction and doom. In Time of the Wolf the director Haneke brings his vision of a present day apocalypse where the dark despair is brought to the audience in several ways. The opening credits begin with this darkness displayed on a black background without sound or music.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Mir TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 29, 2007
Format: DVD
Note: This review may contain what you consider spoilers. Skip if that doesn't float your review boat--

Yesterday, I caught a film from 2002, French with subtitles, called Le Temps Du Loup: THE TIME OF THE WOLF.

It's a difficult film to watch, but I found myself utterly engrossed. There is no way I could turn off this film after the harrowing opening scene grabbed me completely:

A family of four, the Laurents, drive to their country home--mom, dad, son, daughter. Upon entering their cottage, they find that another family is squatting there: a man, his wife, and a boy. They are grim-faced and the man raises his rifle to the Laurents. As Mr. Laurent tries to be reasonable, speaking calmly, offering to share his food and water with the family, to work something out, the squatter shoots Laurent. We see blood splatter on the wife's face, played by Isabel Huppert.

The squatters take the supplies and cast the woman and children off with only a can of juice, some biscuits, what they are wearing and carrying in the mother's purse, and a bicycle.

Then we see the stricken woman-who is clearly in shock--visit the magistrate. He refuses to help--Don't you know what's happened? he says--and tells her to go away. Closes his door on the bereaved threesome. They knock on neighbor's doors in the village. None will open to her.

We know something is very, very wrong. She knows their names. They've been her neighbors for years. But none will let them in out of the cold night.

Yes, something is wrong, very wrong.

This is a film in the tradition of the post-apocalyptic story. Some sort of plague has hit this country (seems like France, but one could assume the wider world is stricken, at minimum Europe). Water is scarce.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Joanne A. Garland on February 4, 2005
Format: DVD
The Time of the Wolf reunites director Michael Haneke and actress Isabelle Huppert in this movie about what a family must cope with in the aftermath of an apocalyptic event. It begins when a family comes home to find another family has invaded their house. The man of the house is shot to death, and the mother (Isabelle Huppert) and her two children, Eva and Ben are forced to leave. The family must cope alone, homeless, as they have no one who can help them. They end up living with other stranded people in what looks like an old factory building. Tempers flare and personalities collide. There is a touching scene in which Eva, the daughter, writes a letter addressed to her dead father. Things get heated and emotional when Eva and her mother are confronted with the man who killed their father/husband. He denies it, so it's a matter of their word against his. All in all, this isn't the easiest movie in the world to watch. There is a gory scene involving a horse, and the near suicide of the mother's son, Ben. But this movie deals with an important topic: how people might cope when confronted with an apocalyptic event. This obviously isn't a glamour role for Isabelle, but the part of Anne seems to suit her very well. In every movie she gives her best, and that is very very good. The DVD features include an interview with her and the director Michael Haneke.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Black on March 16, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is "the time of the wolf" in the sense that "the wolf is at the door." This is, of course, an old saying indicating that things are desperate. I am beginning with this for the benefit of anyone whose first thought is that this is a werewolf movie. That was my first impression at seeing the title and cover art. It is not a werewolf movie, nor is there any actual wolf of any kind in the movie. But times are desperate thus "the wolf is at the door," and times are desperate everywhere thus it is the "Time of the Wolf."

This movie reminds me of a book series I recently reviewed on Amazon.com. In my review of "Sinking Sand; Grab the Pole", the first book of the series, I wrote:
"This is not your typical postapocalypic story:
First of all there is less physical destruction to the earth than in most postapocalypic stories. Worldwide terrorism attacks toppled the world governments, followed by a few months of total chaos..."

This movie does not explain anything about the apocalyptic event, but could easily be France during the first month or two after the attacks refereed to in the above referenced book series. One other similarity between the book series and this movie is that both focus on interpersonal relationships in the horrendous situation. That is, however, as far as the similarity goes; the stories move in separate ways with these major themes. But then America and France would probably move in different directions after such an event.
This movie follows one family during this time when civilization is crumbling and total chaos is a looming possibility.
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