The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser

The German title is more apposite – Every man for himself and God against all – as seems to be noted in every review. What I wasn’t expecting was for it to be so moving and for the cause of that feeling to be so elusive. Bruno S. is deceptively affect-free at first, until we see the enormous rip between him and everyone else and his increasing consciousness of that. I saw it at the BFI and a strange part of my experience was that I’d seen the trailer there many times over the past month, so there was something more poignant about those scenes when they occurred as part of the film entire e.g. Daumer’s search for Kaspar when he goes missing. The undercutting of religious and academic types in their interactions with Kaspar are hilarious, especially when they try to deny agency to some apples taken from the tree and he disagrees, saying:

That’s a clever apple

when it bounces over someone’s foot.

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser

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