About Water is Austrian director Udo Maurer's new documentary film which tells the three-part story of the element, water, and its significance to human existence in three different parts of the world. A seemingly mundane 'given' - so often taken for granted - thus becomes a gripping and forthright tale of daily struggle and survival. In spite of water. Without water. With water. From the floods and inundation in the Bangladeshi Brahmaputra delta, to the daily each-man-for-himself battle over a few jerrycans of clean water in Kibera, Nairobi's biggest slum. About Water is a documentary Lehrstück that attempts to throw some questions, doubts and ideas at our views on water, which most of us take for granted and hardly ever challenge.
Loss is to be Expected
A few kilometres between two villages. Czech and Austrian borderline separates two different worlds, it could seem that there is nothing as remote as the life on either side of the line, the well-being of the honourable capitalism and the poverty of the remains of the (sur)real socialism. It seems that nothing could be closer than two lonely people.
In conurbations where hundreds of thousands live alongside one another, in the era of a highly technological society, in which communication has never played such a significant role, man has become lonely. Disappointed by his fellow human beings, he turns to animals. Dogs and other domestic animals serve him as companions, life partners, cuddly objects and bedfellows.
The Bosom Friend
Main character of this movie is Rene Rupnik, a former math teacher. He is forty years old and lives together with his mother in a desolate block of flats. Ever since his early youth women with big breasts have fascinated him, because they symbolise a kind of earth mother to him. He has never had an especially close relationship with his own mother; she was too 'bony' for him. Object of Rene's fantasy is the actress Senta Berger, to him everything a woman should be. Standing by the blackboard and explaining the mathematical laws of sine and cosine ('sinus' is bosom in Latin), Rene sings the praises of the female curves and those of Santa Berger in particular. Filmmaker Ulrich Seidl let the former teacher speak freely about his obsessions and desires, intercutting his monologues with scenes from the protagonist's day-to-day life.
Whores’ Glory Glory is a cinematic triptych on prostitution: three locations, three languages, three religions. Paradise, the world and the hereafter merge in prostitution to create an image of the relationship between men and women. In Thailand, women wait for men behind glass panes, staring at reflections of themselves. In Bangladesh men go to a ghetto of love to satisfy their unfulfilled desires on trapped girls. And in Mexico, women pray to a female death so as not to see and feel their own reality. Where the most intimate becomes a commodity, the product is expensive and fiercely contested. Making the reality all the more unexpected: Beauty lives amidst cruelty and violence, the mind becomes a personal jail, and love happens where you least expect it.
Bombay, Mexico City, Moscow, New York: seductive yet repellent monsters. The contradiction insinuates itself into the daily lives of those who populate theses megacities. In 12 chapters the film tells the stories of Shankar the bioscope man, Modesto the chicken feet seller, Babu Khan the colour sifter, Nestor the rubbish collector, of the street kids Oleg, Borja, Kolya and Misha, Cassandra the actress, Larissa the crane driver and Tony the hustler. Day in, day out they all set about their struggle for survival with ingenuity, intelligence and dignity. And they all share a single fantasy: the dream of a better life.