“I wanted to show why this country is the way it is.” Hungarian filmmaker Lívia Gyarmathy made this personal intention the challenging leitmotif of her films about socialist Hungary. In 1961, after finishing her studies of chemistry and a career as a skilled worker in a factory, she was the first woman to enroll in direction at Hungary's Academy for Theater and Film Art. Despite the prejudices of her professors and fellow students, she made a number of documentary and fiction films that stand out due to their social realism. Gyarmathy expressed her doubts about the socialist system through personal stories, as a result of which she was repeatedly targeted by the censors.
Twisted Eyes – 2nd Video Version
Artist Dietmar Brehm of Linz, remaining true to the obsessions he has cultivated over decades, shows in classic found-footage style optically altered clips from old porn movies. Turned-up Eyes is not a “best of” compilation of sex scenes; on the contrary, it represents a disturbing montage of glances and gestures charged with implicit lust. (Michael Loebenstein)
Paradise Later is a „documentary adaption of a novel“. Inside the head of a trader we travel on a river meandering through an apocalyptic scenery. A stream of thoughts carries us away into a vortex of accusation, damnation and self-condemnation. We take a short exit – into a reality. The gaze widens for a moment. But our captain frantically navigates us towards a fatal ending. (production note)
Documentary "Hooked" is complicated in a number of ways: Firstly, Harald is not an authentic figure; he’s a fictional condensation from interviews with several different young addicts given a body (lanky) and a voice (sluggish) by artist Ingo Leindecker.The film illuminates the process through which a social “case study” must be created from the disparate memories, attitudes and emotions described. The result is an episodic drama of addiction - problems in real life and weekends of partying...
The camp, home to Roma and located in Rome’s Centocello neighborhood, represents normality. The world outside is a “hobby” and they don’t know precisely what it is. Or it’s a dream that fills out their reality. Reality is for them a dreary life of poverty and even worse prospects for employment. For this reason the young people who are given an opportunity to work with cameras and ask the questions in this video project tend to depict themselves while dreaming. Or actively shaping a social role they grow out of in their play with and in front of the camera rather than (re)presenting it as their personal fate.
We first see a roundabout in the periphery, controlling the flow of lorries and cars, before the film reaches its actual destination: the "Jobcenter", a course for unemployed people. How is "success in the job market" being taught there? The film follows five people, who reflect on their situation in the course and then start searching for a new job.
Films about transgender people often follow a simple dramaturgy. Someone feels strange in their own body, wants to adapt their outer appearance to their inner feelings and after the operation everything is in balance and fine. Rikke Kutzenberger’s documentary in between sets out in a refreshing, new direction: for four years she follows the daily lives of two people who feel themselves in between, unwilling to fit into any of the pre-given gender roles.
Behind the Iron Gate
The film portrays everyday life in the communist era housing estate Za Zelazna Brama (‘Behind the Iron Gate’). The housing estate was built by a team of architects between 1965-1972 in the center of Warsaw on the ruins of the so-called Small Ghetto. The 19 blocks, each 16 floors high, are based on modern rational principles. They were occupied by workers, functionaries, academics and the Warsaw intelligentsia. In the 1970s the housing estate was considered a symbol of Polish socialist prosperity and technological progress. Today the small apartments are regarded by many as substandard and an unpleasant reminder of the communist era. Since 1989 many post-modern apartment buildings, office towers and hotels are being built in between the blocks, destroying green areas and the original lay-out of the housing estate.
Home is not Home
Society usually neither thinks nor talks much about what it feels like to live in an old people's home. "Home is not Home" presents four persons, with very different life stories, who seem to be friends in the home, but "outside" that place probably never would have met.
Michael Berger - A Hysteria
The subject of the film, Austrian investment banker Michael Berger, who became a dollar millionaire through a risky hedge fund, remains a chimera - an absent individual who also cannot be captured through his crime. There is not even a single picture of him to see, and all that is left of his influence are the impressive sums that are actually missing from the local banks at some time. In six attempts, the film tries to draw together a case from the traces of Michael Berger’s undertakings.
More than just Words
"More than just Words" - doing something rather than just talking about a problem. In February 1984, 50 Austrians formed the work brigade “February ’34” and set off for Nicaragua. They were moved by their solidarity with the Sandinista Revolution, which ended the decades-long dictatorship of the Somoza clan, only to be threatened by the US policy of invasion. For almost a month, the group worked on a construction of a community center under extremely difficult conditions, at the same time getting acquainted with a country in the middle of a process started by a revolution.