Opening Films on 27 April 2022

31.03.2022 // In 2022 CROSSING EUROPE will once again open with multiple films that represent a cross section of this year’s festival program and show the great variety of contemporary European film.

With her competition contribution at the Berlinale, Nicolette Krebitz is scratching at societal taboos in A E I O U – DAS SCHNELLE ALPHABET DER LIEBE, in which Sophie Rois delivers a brilliant performance as the female lead. The Portuguese documentary VIAGEM AO SOL | JOURNEY TO THE SUN by Susana de Sousa Dias and Ansgar Schaefer shines a light on the traumatic impacts of war and displacement through the lens of the fate of the children that were “sent away” from bombed out post-war Vienna to Portugal. The Belgian Tribute guest Fabrice du Welz will present the Austrian premiere of his current thriller INEXORABLE, with actor Benoît Poelvoorde as a neurotic author suffering from writer’s block, and the Night Sight program will open with the impressive and eerie debut film PAHANHAUTOJA | HATCHING by Finnish director Hanna Bergholm.
(DE/FR 2022) – Austrian Premiere
Directed by Nicolette Krebitz
Program Section: European Panorama Fiction; Length: 104 min. | Feature Film
Distributor in Austria: Filmladen; Cinema opening in Austria: 17 June 2022
Guests: Nicolette Krebitz & Sophie Rois (both requested)
Anna is 60 and her acting heyday is now behind her. Reluctantly, she accepts a job as a language coach for 17-year-old Adrian who has a speech impediment and is something of a misfit. She recognizes him as the boy who recently snatched her handbag in the street... “Irresistible” is the term that springs to mind when describing this light-footed and humorous story of an impossible love affair between a thief and a lady. Director Nicolette Krebitz handles the fragile balance between the dictates of society and the heart with great care. The fresh breath of freedom blows through a narrative that makes room for a nod to old West Berlin, some gentle teasing of Germany’s French neighbors, and even a ghost that is chased away to make way for new possibilities. But most of all, A E I O U is a passionate love letter to Sophie Rois and, perhaps through her, all the brilliant actors neglected by an industry all too fond of young blood. (Berlinale)
VIAGEM AO SOL | JOURNEY TO THE SUN (PT 2021) – Austrian Premiere
Directed by Susana de Sousa Dias, Ansgar Schaefer
Program Section: European Panorama Documentary; Length: 109 min. | Documentary
Guests: Susana de Sousa Dias, Ansgar Schaefer (both requested)
Just after the Second World War, 5,000 young children were sent from Austria to stay with host families in Portugal, where they could recover from the violence of war. The contrast with their living conditions at home, and the huge difference between the lives of rich and poor in Portugal in this period, made a deep impression on the young Austrians. After about ten months, they were shipped back to Austria—with labels hanging from their necks like postal packages. Filmmakers Susana de Sousa Dias and Ansgar Schaefer assembled a huge quantity of images from this time, in countless photo albums and archives. Carefully composed sound effects enhance the immersive atmosphere of this little-known story, while off-screen the former “guest children” recall this extraordinary, sometimes deliriously happy period. (IDFA)
INEXORABLE (BE/FR 2021) – Austrian Premiere
Directed by Fabrice du Welz
Program Section: Tribute; Length: 99 min. | Feature Film
Guest: Fabrice du Welz
Marcel Bellmer (Benoît Poelvoorde) moves into the colossal old country manor belonging to the family of his wife and publisher Jeanne. Marcel hopes to overcome a spell of writer’s block and compose a worthy follow-up to his beloved hit novel “Inexorable”. Distraction arrives in the form of Gloria, a shy, awkward young woman with no home or family of her own who connects with Marcel and Jeanne’s daughter Lucie. Gloria confesses to Marcel that reading his work saved her life during its darkest moments. But as Gloria becomes increasingly involved in the family’s affairs, a whole new darkness threatens to consume the lot of them. INEXORABLE touches on a number of juicy themes – nepotism, marital longevity, the myth of the literary genius, Belgium’s fascist legacy – while steadily building toward a series of confrontations as shocking as they are, in hindsight, inevitable. (Toronto International Film Festival)

PAHANHAUTOJA | HATCHING (FI/SE 2022) – Austrian Premiere
Directed by Hanna Bergholm
Program Section: Nightsight; Length: 86 min. | Feature Film
Guest: Hanna Bergholm (requested)
Hanna Bergholm’s coming-of-age film HATCHING is a visceral combination of supernatural horror and grim satire that dissects emotional manipulation and mother-daughter dynamics. Tween gymnast Tinja spends most of her time training for an upcoming competition, fighting with her obnoxious little brother, and desperately trying to please her image-obsessed mother. After Tinja discovers a dying bird in the woods, she brings its strange egg home and nurtures it until it hatches. The supernatural creature that emerges, christened “Alli”, becomes Tinja’s only friend and surrogate child. Tinja becomes more and more aware of her own emotions and repression while Alli grows more and more aggressive and grotesque. Before long, Tinja must contend with the disconnect between her newfound maternal instincts and the demands of her own overbearing mother. (Katie Small, Sundance Film Festival)

Closing Film on 2 May 2022:

Directed by Annika Pinske
Program Section: European Panorama Fiction; Length: 89 min. | Feature Film
Distributor in Austria: Filmgarten; Cinema Opening in Austria: tba
Guest: Annika Pinske (requested)
Clara is 39 and is taking a PhD in philosophy. She lives in a Kreuzberg flat share while her teenage daughter lives with her ex. When Clara visits her home in provincial Mecklenburg-Vorpommern for her mother’s birthday, she finds herself struggling with the pride and expectations but also with the rejection of her family and former companions. She begins to realise just how far she has moved away from her roots in her search for a self-determined life. Annika Pinske’s quiet drama is a study in familiarity and distance, liberty and compulsion, the countryside and the city. Sensitive, nuanced performances from an outstanding cast with an assured command of the local dialects allow the audience to experience the atmospheres of both Berlin’s university milieu and the rural family get-together. (Berlinale)