Film Archive

Jahr

International Programme 2012
Mama Illegal Ed Moschitz

A long-term observation of Moldavian women, illegal and without rights, working cleaning and nursing jobs in Western Europe, and their children, who grow up without their mothers. A tragedy.

Mama Illegal

Documentary Film
Austria
2011
95 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ed Moschitz
Gailute Miksyste
Sandra Merseburger
Alexandra Löwy
Ed Moschitz
Lenka Mikulova
Dirty clothes are scattered along the railway tracks, thrown there by those who stowed away under freight trains to escape the poverty of Moldavia. The unemployment rate is 80 percent, a third of the population have already left the country. Today it’s mostly the women who leave to work as illegal cleaners or caregivers in the West, with no health insurance and no rights. The smugglers are expensive and the risk of being caught is high, so they stay away for years. They do the jobs no one else wants to do and earn little money. But the plan doesn’t work because once abroad they change; want to live like the people whose homes they are cleaning while their children are waiting at home and the fathers are baking the bread. Ed Moschitz accompanied three of those women for seven years. This remarkably long period of time, which the film fought for, enables us to look at all angles. The children’s alienation from mothers they only know through Skype, the men’s disappointment when their wives mock their housekeeping, and the conflict of the guest workers who have no documents in the West and can’t find their way back home. The film is a passionate appeal to politicians to create a legal framework for these realities. The look at a classroom in a Moldavian village school, where almost all the children are “motherless”, ought to be motivation enough.
– Cornelia Klauß
International Programme 2015
Since the World Was World Günter Schwaiger

Slaughtering, ploughing, harvesting grapes and searching for illegal marihuana plants in the cornfield. Being a farmer in Castile: doggedly traditional in the crisis – a warm-hearted observation.

Since the World Was World

Documentary Film
Austria,
Spain
2015
103 minutes
subtitles: 
German

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Günter Schwaiger, Cristina G. Alía
Günter Schwaiger
Bence Boka, Los Linces
Günter Schwaiger
Günter Schwaiger, Martin Eller
Günter Schwaiger
Cristina García Alía
Gonzalo is a farmer of the old school who lives with his family in Castile. To be called an agronomist would probably be an insult to someone like him. His way of managing things is in many ways the opposite of the all-devouring economisation of all areas of life. But he only chose this existence as a resistance fighter half-freely – the other half was forced upon him. First of all by a tradition that’s effectively in his bones. Then by a deep rootedness in the soil that nourishes him. And finally by a sturdy philosophy that makes him say such simple and clear things like: “When everyone was throwing money out of the window and lighting fires with banknotes, our kind was considered outdated and backward. Now that most people have lost everything the others are no better off than us, and we are more or less the same.”

Empathetic “Schadenfreude” und a surrealist sense of humour are essential parts of Gonzalo’s rustic world. Günter Schwaiger’s affectionate long-term observation of this world could also be seen as cinematic medication to strengthen our immune system against the temptations of consumerism and agricultural capitalism – defences our mind urgently needs.

Ralph Eue

Wie die anderen

Documentary Film
Austria
2015
86 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Johannes Rosenberger
Constantin Wulff
Johannes Hammel
Dieter Pichler
Constantin Wulff
Claus Benischke, Andreas Hamza, Klaus Kellermann
Once psychiatric institutions were regarded as the marginal zones of civilisation where the “deranged” people were excluded (or locked away) from the community of the “healthy”. Today this is considered an untenable stereotype, at least in theory. However, there is a lack of images suitable for internalising such assumptions in practice and permanently. Constantin Wulff, a dedicated representative of Direct Cinema, and his cinematographer Johannes Hammel spent one and a half years at the child and adolescent psychiatry of the hospital of Tulln in Lower Austria, observing the human and institutional processes set in motion when children and adolescents suddenly get off track. How does anyone end up in such an institution? How does one become a “case”? Even if such a “case” can only be worked out in any meaningful way when people look beyond the process and re-focus on the human being.

With admirable confidence Wulff balances his film between rash chumminess and cheap distance – always trying to do justice to the very complex interactions playing out in before his lens. Also at the focus: institutional work as a permanent balancing act between gentleness and pressure, routine and emotional involvement, regulations and improvisations.

Ralph Eue