Austrian Film Days, celebrating Austrian cinema lands in Amman

Austrian film days
(Photo: Royal Film Commission)
The Austrian Film Days, a celebration of Austrian cinema, is set to captivate local audiences as it brings a unique section of the latest films from the country. اضافة اعلان

Organized by The Royal Film Commission (RFC) and in partnership with the Austrian Embassy in Amman is set to begin on Monday at RFC’s Outdoor Amphitheater with three free film screenings spanning through the week.

The Austrian Film Days hold great significance for the cultural diplomacy between Austria and the Kingdom. Not only does it celebrate the artistry of Austrian cinema, but it also coincides with the Austrian Embassy’s 40th anniversary in Amman, and the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between both countries.

Austrian film history
Austrian cinema boasts a rich and extensive history that stretches back to the early 20th century. While Austrian films are often recognized for their exploration of dark and disturbing subject matter, they also possess the ability to be humorous, heartwarming, and thought-provoking.

Current trends in Austrian cinema reflect its vibrant and diverse nature, with a focus on social realism, historical dramas, and psychological thrillers. The industry continues to produce high-quality films that captivate audiences with their compelling storytelling and artistic craftsmanship.

In recent years, Austrian cinema has experienced a remarkable resurgence in popularity, with films such as "The White Ribbon" and "The Piano Teacher" garnering numerous accolades at international film festivals.

The Austrian Film Days in Amman promise an unforgettable cinematic experience, allowing viewers to immerse themselves in the beauty and creativity of Austrian cinema. From the early classics to the latest releases, this event showcases the richness and evolution of Austrian filmmaking, inviting audiences to appreciate its unique contributions to the global cinematic landscape.

Selected films to be screen

The Farmer and the Hipster (2022)Monday at 8pm
By: Karl Langbein

For two and half years, readers and followers of Editor-in-Chief of Falter, Florian Klenk were captivated by the story of Christian Bachler, a farmer known as the “angry farmer,” who gained fame through his social media presence.

The documentary follows the pair as they their friendships unfolders after Bachler is invited to come to the Styrian mountains and try to live day-to-day life of Bachler. 

The documentary film beautifully captures the essence of their story, beginning with the controversial "cow verdict" in Innsbruck, where a farmer was ordered to pay damages after one of his cows tragically killed a tourist. While Klenk supported the verdict, Bachler, a passionate Styrian Mountain farmer, voiced his opposing opinion in a viral social media video.

In a surprising turn of events, Klenk accepted Bachler's invitation to visit his farm and experience the life of a modern-day farmer firsthand.

Their initial meeting grew into a personal bond, which became particularly evident when Klenk discovered that Bachler's farm was facing foreclosure due to significant debts.

With the help of his contacts and channels, Klenk initiated a successful fundraising campaign for Bachler, with over 12,000 people contributing. This overwhelming support saved Bachler's farm from financial ruin.

However, it is important to note that Bachler, born in 1983, is not simply a victim portrayed by the capital city press. Unlike the book and Klenk's social media presence, where Klenk dominates as the author, the documentary allows Bachler to take control of the camera, showcasing his natural presence and insightful wisdom.

Throughout the filming process, Bachler wore T-shirts with slogans like "Better crazy than one of you.”

The film portrays Bachler as an eloquent and digitally savvy individual. Despite some formulaic rhetoric, he stands out as a Bobo among farmers, comparing his colleagues to inhabitants of the Matrix.

Through Bachler's charismatic presence, Klenk manages to shed light on the challenges facing agriculture in the new millennium, including the vicious cycle of EU subsidies, heavy reliance on credit from Raiffeisen bank, and the relentless pressure for increased productivity.

The film effectively emphasizes the plight of individuals in the face of these systemic issues.

While the film covers familiar ground seen in numerous TV documentaries about smallholders and industrial agriculture, it sets itself apart by also showcasing the story of a friendship unfolding.

 The neo-folk music by the group Alma serves as a fitting soundtrack, leaving viewers with a sense of empowerment and a determination to take action. The film captures the essence of their journey and leaves audiences with a feeling of hope.

The film won the German Environmental and Sustainability Film Award at the Nature Film Festival 2022.

Rubikon (2022)By: Magdalena Lauritsch
Tuesday at 8pm

This sci-fi drama, directed by Magdalena Lauritsch, explores themes of environmental concerns and ethical dilemmas in a futuristic setting. Set in the year 2056, Earth is heavily polluted, ruled by corporations, and divided between the wealthy living comfortably in biodomes and the poor struggling to survive.

The story takes place aboard the Rubikon space research station, where a scientist has invented an algae-based filtration system that could potentially save humanity from the poisoned Earth. However, when a toxic brown fog threatens all life on Earth, the crew faces the difficult decision of risking their lives to deliver the filtration system or prioritizing their own survival.

The film is a somber morality tale with a talky and long-winded narrative. The screenplay, written by Lauritsch and Jessica Lind, leans towards utilitarianism, but there is sufficient ambivalence to suggest that the characters' philosophical choices may not be as consequential as they initially appear.

The film's sobriety and airless atmosphere, depicted through sterile corridors and clean visuals, contribute to a sense of repetitiveness and a somewhat depressing mood. The constant quarreling and the plot's exploration of no-good choices intensify this feeling.

While the film's philosophical inquiries are commendable, its execution falls short in delivering an engaging and impactful experience. The low-budget production limits the filmmakers' ability to fully bring to life the details of the corporate-controlled world and the hardships faced by its inhabitants. Despite the film's shortcomings, it touches on thought-provoking questions about the worthiness of saving a world where people view each other as less-than, the value of a life lived in isolation, and the effects of intense isolation on an individual.

These innovative philosophical inquiries offer glimpses of the film's potential but are not fully realized within the overall narrative.

Short Film CollectionWednesday 8 pm

On Wednesday, the Austrian Film Days concludes with three short film screenings.

NeverinlandBy: Fatih Gürsoy

The story revolves around four asylum seekers residing in a refugee house in Vienna who are waiting for their court decision. One evening, one of the residents is invited to a costume party, and the four men dress up and venture into the night, in search of their own version of "Neveriland.”

Look for the Silver LiningBy: Maximilian Conway

A story of a jazz singer who had experienced failure in her career recently lost her job at a supermarket and now faces the threat of eviction. To make ends meet, she starts working at a late-night shop. Unexpectedly, she finds herself involved in an affair with the eviction officer. He becomes infatuated with her singing and constantly reminds her not to give up hope. However, when his duty calls, his infatuation quickly seems to fade.

We Deliver a Smile
By: Magdalena Lauritsch

Following his line of work, Karim, a delivery boy, encounters Brigitte, a customer who desires to assert her power and authority over him. Fearing the consequences of losing his job, Karim reluctantly engages in Brigitte's deceitful game. However, the situation takes a chaotic turn when Brigitte's mother, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease, becomes involved as well.

To follow the film screenings, check the RFC website for more information. 

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