Riahi Arash T.
The story of my Vietnamese father who was able to build up a new life in a small Austrian village, but there is still an open chapter in the past: the search for the man who once helped him.
Beyond the Forest
A historical documentary about two of the last Saxons and Landlers shot in small Carpathian villages. In his garden a old man has spread out an old patched sheet. He wants to die there and be eaten by the animals. Fifty kilometres away, a woman sits at her gravestone; she has already lived five years past the date of death that is engraved on her stone. The National Socialist regime turned them into perpetrators and into victims. With the fall of Hitler, he has also fallen. She, on the other hand, had to go into a work camp for 6 years. The film shows two very humorous, but broken people, who witnessed the disappearance of their own culture. Only at the end of their lives, they are finally willing to retell the tragic experiences of their beings.
Nature is not what differentiates between chaos and structure, the observer does through his or her choice of point of view and representational technique. In the tradition of avant-garde film subduing chaos through abstraction, translating it into structured form, has produced as many varieties as the dissolution of easily comprehensible forms and structures in chaos. While on one hand Mississippi belongs to this tradition, it maintains an ironic distance at the same time. What in the beginning of Mississippi appears to be a lavishly choreographed dialog between natural chaos and abstract structure is revealed at some point as an autonomous concert of forms. At first one would assume that Arash T. Riahi’s intoxicating visual composition amounts to simply making chaotically spraying drops of water on the one hand and geometrically structured (and dominated by a bright red) fields of color on the other accessible in the contrapuntal rhythm of their movements. Gradually the point of view offered at the beginning starts to falter through subtle shifts in perspective and focus until the borders between chaos and structure, between abstraction and representation, begin to blur and the visual levels, apparently arranged artificially, meld into a uniform, concrete shape through interaction with the slowly beginning noise on the soundtrack.
Exile Family Movie
The Souvenirs of Mr. X
A filmmaker finds 2 boxes of Super-8 films of an unknown amateur at a flea market. He goes on an investigative journey to find this person and dives into the wonderful, obsessive universe of amateur film with its own rules, competitions and the passionate love for the moving images. "The Souvenirs of Mr. X" is an homage to amateur film-makers, their dream of cinema and their desire to find, in the unspectacular, everyday life, the truly special.
The Nicobars are a small archipegalo in the Indian Ocean, where one of the last indigenous people lived almost like in a time capsule for 900 years. When the Tsunami struck them in 2004 not only a third of their population died but they were also thrown into a modern world through the wave of aid and relief organisations that arrived on their shores. This aftermath proved to be a bigger catastrophe for their culture than the Tsunami. Today the organisations are leaving and the money is spent. But the Nicobaris embark on the search for a new identity.
They gave the smugglers all their money and risk their life on their journey across borders: Three women from a small town in Moldavia, living now in Austria as cleaning women. On top of their hard job they live a life in illegality without documents, far away from their children and family for years.
Everything Will Not Be Fine
In the years 2000-2001 the director Arash T. Riahi filmed the inhabitants of a transitional residential home for homeless women, who, for various different reasons, fell through the cracks of our achievement-oriented society. Nine years later the director went looking for some of these women to see how they thrive after such a long time. What became of their dreams and wishes, is the return into the cold of an unsheltered world even possible?
It is only the second time that Indonesians can vote for their own president. Two charismatic women, however, are not satisfied with mere elections. Grandma Dela, who lives in a slum of the tropical megacity, and the intellectual Wardah Hafidz are setting out to collect 1.5 million signatures of the poorest, who are constantly threatened by the local arbitrary justice and the desires of the global capital. Can the power of a small elite really be overthrown by the power of many, or is “real democracy“ just an ideal? With this political road-documentary the director portrays social changes and improvements in his mother's old homeland.
A crucial question: who owns the world? An economist tracks down a new spectre, haunting the planet – unconditional basic income. The film covers a fundamental issue – the question, who owns the world. From the diamond filled Namibian deserts, Mongolia’s copper mines and Alaska’s oilfields to Japan’s megacities and the world’s most renowned universities and think tanks, we travel to parts of the planet, which exemplarily stand for the earth’s resources (both material and immaterial ones). These places represent the underlying theoretical framework at a meta level in long, even-tempered shots, which shift the audience’s attention to a state of abstraction. The film’s theoretical superstructure is a reflection on classic liberal theories and moral concepts of the age of enlightenment, that more than ever shape modern, western societies.
Everyday Rebellion is an impressionistic documentary essay as well as a web platform about non-violent forms of protest and civil disobedience in the 21st century. A project about methods of resistance supported by technology, seen not only through the current movements of the Arabian and Iranian uprisings, but also through former successful and less successful revolts. The film describes the everyday conscious and subconscious of resistance of societies fighting suppression and repression.