Import/Export Reviews

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January 5, 2010
A very realistic look at today's life in Europe and immigration coming from the east. Disturbing.
July 25, 2013
A bleak, uncompromising and ultimately very depressing social drama which may be hard to stomach, but even harder to turn away from.
September 22, 2013
Ulrich Seidl got an eye to capture the drama of the real world, the struggle to live of the young and the old.
Super Reviewer
½ July 26, 2010
This Austrian film directed by Ulrich Seidl was nominated for the Palme d'Or in the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and won the Grand Prix - Golden Apricot reward in Yerevan International Film Festival. Shot in Vienna, Ukraine, Romania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia from 2005 until May 2007, using 16mm and 35mm lenses, gives us feeling of a documentary with real dramatic style.

The movie follows Olga - Ukrainian woman from Uzhhorod, and Pauli - young man from Vienna, Austria and gives us insight in their dreams, mistakes, experiences, disappointment and love... Wonderful work of art! After 135 minutes of watching I wanted MORE!
July 30, 2013
It's good that people as Ulrich Seidl exist so there is someone who can remind us what no one seems to realize anymore - the world of sunny careless holidays and fancy stores is not really the world we are living in. The reality as it really looks like is shown in his movies.
August 6, 2012
Elocuente, con un estilo propio y perturbador.
April 24, 2012
From Austrian director Ulrich Seidl, and nominated for the Palme D'Or at Cannes in 2007, this is a dark, unsettling drama that has the tone and structure of a horror film, but it shows two parallel stories of people unsatisfied in their lives and how moving on can have polarising consequences. It's dark, quite graphic both in terms of sex and violence, but it's very compelling. It begins in Eastern Ukraine, in a slum hung over from the Soviet era, where nurse Olga (Ekateryna Rak) is unsatisfied in her life, and she doesn't get paid enough as a nurse, being diddled out of pay. So, she turns to internet porn, which is horrible. So, she packs up, and moves out to Vienna, where she gets a job as a cleaner in a hospital, where she falls for senile, geriatric patient Erich Schlager (Erich Finches). Meanwhile in Vienna, hot-headed Pauli trains to be a security guard, but is sacked when he's mugged by Turkish drunkards, penniless, and owing money to his stepfather Michael (Michael Thomas), but they get a job in delivering old videogame machines to the Ukraine, where Pauli's attempt at hiring a prostitute end up with him on his own in the snowy wilderness. It's a dark drama, but very compelling and painting a picture of a world in the Ukraine which is seldom seen on film, but it's showing a real plight many people face when they think moving to another country can hide the fact that they made a hash of things in their homeland. It's almost like a Ken Loach film, only more bleaker, and it's still uncertain by the end if things get better or worse.
½ February 19, 2011
Seidl's film arguably offers the toughest (and toughest to stomach) portrait of individuals tempest-tossed by the currents of the new global economy.
June 13, 2011
A bleak movie about an existence of 2 people, one in Easter Europe, and one in Western. The depiction of post-communist Ukrainian life is spot on. The director doesn't patronize the viewer so it's entirely up to the audience to decide how to feel for the characters. The dialogue is completely improvised so it feels very natural. The movie unfortunately tends to drag at times, and also it maybe a bit difficult to follow if you don't understand either Russian or German.
½ May 26, 2011
La verdad a mi me parece muy aburrida, muy lenta, muy fria, muy pretenciosa y muy cruel... quiza por eso me gusto...
½ April 21, 2011
My reaction to Import/Export was multi-layered; while I _can_ appreciate it for the depressive-realist tone throughout and the not-so-far-from-the-surface pressing existentialist questions, it lacked some much-needed comic relief. Humour (albeit dark) in the face of misery and despair can be seen in many long-suffering ethnic groups; and is hence more-plausible than a consistent grim aura that unfortunately encompassed a potentially-great movie.

Any "humour" that I happened to witness during the movie was discomforting--an interaction between the characters rather than the movie and its audience, which added a further sense of revolving darkness.

I'm on the fence.
½ February 21, 2011
Saw it only yesterday. Already forgotten. Best seen locked on fast-forward.
Super Reviewer
October 14, 2009
a very realistic look and harsh storysfollowing a nurse from the ukraine working as a cleaner in a austrian hospital, and also a young man fromaustria going east,2 stories parrerrel, following the same path, the most interesting thing on show here, isthe directionand acting,and its real locations, grimm and natural throughout, showing the countries on show,as they are in parts,and showing the life of people there,the acting is terrific,and story is interesting throughout
August 24, 2009
totally degrading woman..
sometimes it really makes you think how grateful when we have careers when others have to shift to different countries just to earn a living..
½ August 19, 2009
Brilliant. A disturbing masterpiece about immigration in Austria/East Europe.
½ February 23, 2008
A very problematic film. On one hand Seidl sets out to show the cruel struggle of the two main characters to make a living in foreign lands, having to work in some quite unpleasant jobs. There is compassion in the way they are portrayed. On the other hand there is an exploitative side to the way Seidl films the other people, a taste for the grotesque, a taste for the comic absurd that often comes across as condescending to its characters. The harsh treatment of patients in the hospital for the old and senile are reminiscent of the mental ward in Titicut Follies, particularly the absurd party at the end. The film loves to linger on these mentally incapacitated people, loves to listen to their senseless mutterings. It's during these scenes of cruelty that the film rears its misogynistic head. It wants to have its cake and eat it too. It strives for social critique but lacks the insight to be effective. It decries human exploitation but practices it in its own way. Then there is the question of how Seidl could have gotten informed consent from the patients, who are not exactly capable of giving it. Or does the fact that it's a fictional film negate such necessity?
August 6, 2009
I will wait to hear more about this one.
½ July 27, 2009
The pursuit of a better life through the journey of a Ukrainian nurse who travels to Austria and a security guard who travels the other way round. I'm sick and tired of films that sell "rawness" and that's all there is to it. So no, I didn't like it. I wasn't bored even though nothing much happened, but I really missed the point of this being 135 minutes.
July 25, 2009
ImportExport sounds very promising and work of art. I can't wait to see it. From the synopsis to the many reviews it deserves anyone's buck.
Super Reviewer
½ April 9, 2009
The story takes place in both Ukraine and Austria and focuses on 2 lives of very different people who share a similar circumstance of being at the end of the line in the place that they live in. Both seek change and their circumstances take very different shapes and fates but share a similar intention, to find a better life.
The director and writer give us little hope in their depiction of 2 lives and how their environments constantly conspire to either keep them down or challenge their will to survive and change. It is a story at once about Eastern Europe and a story about the world's 'lower classes' and their monumental struggle against inertia and their past. It is a movie filled with images, humor, highs and lows, and, graphic scenes of sexual play that all add to the base quality of the human experience that exists not only in Eastern Europe, but, many place in the world.
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