Citation Ezra E (2019) Out of Bounds: The Spatial Politics of Civility in The Square (Ostlund, 2017) and Happy End (Haneke, 2017). Northern Lights, Winter 2020 ('Europe at the Crossroads: Cinematic Takes').
Abstract Ruben Östlund’s The Square and Michael Haneke’s Happy End, both released in 2017, skirt around the edges of immigration in Europe. Both address the question of who belongs and who does not belong, not only within the boundaries that determine where one country ends and another begins, but also within those that determine who is a member of civil society and who is not. These films explore how the bounds of what is considered appropriate are breached in certain spatial settings, questioning the meaning of “civility” in both a social and political sense, and prompting us to contemplate the various meanings of hospitality in the context of national and European identity.