Film Archive

Double Happiness

Documentary Film
Austria
2014
72 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ella Raidel
Ella Raidel
Rudi Fischerlehner
Martin Putz
Karina Ressler
Wong Ka Ho
The Chinese believe that when two people get married their happiness is not shared but doubled. Cultures, too, can duplicate their happiness by copying each other. This concept has made China the land of master copyists. They don’t just copy paintings but whole towns including the surrounding scenery. Like Hallstatt in the Salzkammergut. The residents of this picturesque tourist village, who had imagined themselves unique, were forced to realise that they had been spied on and cloned. The hotel owner sees this as the realisation of a primal human fear, but as a good businesswoman she is also fascinated. So why not send the mayor and brass band to China to put the seal on this happiness?
Hallstatt becomes the starting point of a thought-provoking filmic journey of the mind that merges original and imitation, imagination and reality. Where are we when a pretty Chinese girl in a dirndl sings to the moon, “My affection is real”? In a capitalist’s wet dream, obviously. Because Hallstatt/China is a high end investment project and a side product of the massive construction boom. Where does that leave “us” and our culture, Chinese architects and urban planners ask. The film discovers a China full of self-doubts while its cleverly convoluted narrative structure refers back to “us” Europeans. Even the identity crisis has duplicated itself.
Lars Meyer

Kern

Documentary Film
Austria
2012
98 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ulrich Seidl, Ulrich Seidl Filmproduktion
Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz
Harald Traindl
Birgit Bergmann, Nikolaus Eckhard
Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala
Kern is excessive in every respect and impressive not just because of his girth. A former Fassbinder actor, he is an aging diva, openly gay, an irritating and uncompromising character. His strong voice fills every room, even if it is only a modest modern flat in the Viennese suburbs. He is on stage everywhere, keeping the two directors Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala on a short leash. He never for a moment permits any illusion about who is directing this film. He turns the camera around and holds the mirror up to us. He is the finger in the wound, exposing our voyeurism and pleasure in the obscene. But Franz and Fiala bravely stand up to him and disarm him by revealing their strategies. This shadow-boxing produces an extraordinary and complex portrait. It’s true that we don’t learn much about Peter Kern the human being, but a lot about the artist he plays so consummately, a role by now inseparable from his self. One of the rare magic cinema moments comes when Kern snuggles up to the cameraman’s hand. One is reminded of “The Beauty and the Beast” – only who is who?

Cornelia Klauß



Talent Dove in the Young Cinema Competition 2012

Sickfuckpeople

Documentary Film
Austria
2013
75 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Franz Novotny, Alexander Glehr
Juri Rechinsky
Anton Baibakov
Alex Zaporoshchenko, Serhiy Stetsenko
Juri Rechinsky
Juri Rechinsky
They’re really only children, giggling on that merry-go-round – no more than a vision. The reality is different. Not only do they search the garbage in decaying cellars for anything valuable, they live in this filth. This is where they cook their soup, smoke, sniff and shoot up anything they can. Poverty has rarely looked sadder.
Ukrainian director Juri Rechinsky has arranged his film in three chapters, like a triptych. The first is entitled “Childhood” and portrays something these Odessa street kids never had. In the second part, the director travels with one of the kids through snowy landscapes to the village where the boy hopes to find his mother. But just as there was no childhood, there is no home any more. Alcoholism and the cynical and brutal way the villagers treat each other have buried all humanity. In the third part, “Love”, an almost biblical cadence is added in the story of Dennis and Anna. The two, who are so drugged up their words are no more than a slur, live in a ruin and are expecting a child. They share a pair of shoes – it’s all they can afford.
In his debut film director Rechinsky aims the camera at those who were cast out by Ukrainian society and, what’s more, for whom no opportunity to return is provided. He follows through, staying in contact over several years, sparing the audience nothing – just a nightmare from beginning to end.

Cornelia Klauß