Import/Export - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Import/Export Reviews

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½ January 28, 2011
Bleak, morbid look at the lows people deal with. Worth watching to remember how lucky we are. Although its gruelling at times.
December 7, 2010
Bleak and somewhat aimless, but has some redeeming moments.
November 19, 2010
this is probably the most beautifully photographed & well-acted film i've seen this year. stark, simple, modern & brutally real.

ekateryna rak is definitely in the running for my best female lead nod.

a must see.

top tenable.
½ November 9, 2010
It's hard to decide what is the most bleak in this movie, the weather, the landscapes, the architecture or the themes explored in the plot. The film contains some very uncomfortable scenes and some of the shots are quite beautiful in their stark brutallity but it does drag a bit in the middle.
½ November 8, 2010
A fascinating and bleak little film from Ulrich Seidl that explores the tense relationship between the barren and poverty stricken border-neighbors Austria and Ukraine. Seidl's self-proclaimed admiration for Haneke is immediately evident in his quiet, observational lens, slowly following the frustrating tales of his protagonist's, both bound on journey's that lead to the kind of tragic, disturbing and sometimes uplifting exchanges one has come to expect and admire from Eastern European cinema.
The desperately bleak outlook of the film is well contrasted by Seidl's attention to character development and a rye and dark (and much appreciated) sense of humor.
½ October 25, 2010
The new Austrian cinema, following on the footsteps of Haneke, is searing, cynical and dark: two of its auteurs are Gotz Spielmann (see my review of 'Antares') and Ulrich Siedl (this film). They make you hate the diseased corpse of the West, riven with its contradictions and its post-millennial malaise. In this film, two countries exchange characters like body fluids: an underpaid nurse and single mother escapes from a decaying town in Ukraine to Vienna, where she takes menial jobs, but somehow keeps her composure and fleetingly finds (and loses) hope. Eventually she finds work as a cleaner in a hospital for the elderly. An unemployed Austrian man follows his stepfather to Ukraine to install pinball machines and tries to escape from his life. Around those two experiences, the film alternates, and there hangs its trope of 'Import/Export'.

There is a lot that is ugly in this film, and its exploitation of the old, senile patients as filmed - its unclear whether they are real or acting - is not easy to see. This film is no different from previous New Austrian attempts to dissect post-modernity, but it does extend its jaundiced eye to Ukraine, east from that apparent capital of despair, Vienna. I just want to list the dominant themes: in the East - imploded post-Soviet cities, the declining quality of life, pornography (the export of Eastern European female sexuality), the squalor of the gypsies. In the West, the moral vacuum, the squalor of immigrant life, and the farming out of the elderly to death camps (old age homes). These latter are places where the young are interned in thankless, degrading jobs - closely watching and watched by the old people there to die. The young come from the east to Vienna seeking jobs and dignity. The old in the hospitals of the West just want to die with dignity. Cheerful? No. Necessary? You bet. This film perhaps was a bit too exploitative of misery to be truly profound - life really isn't always so brutal. Needless to say it has no conclusive ending, and no glimmer of hope. Life just grinds on. I need a break.
October 5, 2010
Bleek and cold movie. It tries to wake you up, seriosly. The world is cruel and tough, and many people on this earth can't do much to change their situation. This very slow paced and "quiet" movie got a lot of great features - and a few poor ones.

The production is great. It creates an atmosphere that is magnificent, it actually made me feel really cold in some of the outdoor scenes. The camera work and the many still-scenes is also a feature that is important for making it so memorable. The plot it self is good and sad, and the actors perform well. Poorer aspects about this flick is that it's boring an very long. Still, this makes it very realistic and we get to know the characters well.

If you're up for an slow paced, shocking, sad and honest movie that you can keep in your mind for a while this might be your best option.
August 26, 2010
A very long movie testing my patience in documentary-stic feel to it. In so many ways, many scenes are downright repulsive but those were used for that specific purpose. The title "import/export" makes perfect sense too. Making living is hard anywhere you are especially in foreign lands.
½ July 26, 2010
The first Ukrainian film I've ever seen, and I must say, this is unlike anything I've ever seen before. At times naturalistic to the point of documentary, at other times so massive and barren and bleak it seems impossible that some of these locations actually exist in the world. Visually, this is one of the best shot films I've ever seen, and it never once feels flashy. The scenes in the Austrian geriatric hospital are some of the most heart wrenching, terribly depressing scenes I've ever witnessed. The other story isn't much happier. But what connects them is this cinematic sense of connection between diametrically opposed ideas. Death and life. Those who acknowledge the hopelessness of life, those who manage hope. And these two stories; two sets of characters who will never meet, but are forced to confront these deeply rooted questions in life. How does one survive until one dies?
½ July 26, 2010
This film was bizarre, it was on for a ridiculously long time and didn't seem to have any purpose or meaning behind it apart from showng how grim Eastern Europe is during the winter. A complete misery fest.
March 30, 2010
Hvor finder han de skuespillere fra og er statisterne klar over de er med i en film. Misantropisk, modbydelig, ynkelig og ydmygende, men kan klart anbefales.
½ March 26, 2010
Extraña e interesante film del este europeo, muestra un poco los problemas sociales de un lado y otro entre Austria y Ukrania, de una forma bastante seca, directa y podría decirse cruda, que en realidad no trata de converser a nadie, sino solo de exponer, como diciendo esto es lo que hay.
Pensaba que al final se relacionarían las dos historias, pero fueron como dos films diferente entralzados. De todos modo se agradece esa franqueza que tiene.
March 3, 2010
Benhård socialrealisme på ukrainsk, med et snert af Roy Andersson
½ February 20, 2010
A very impressive but taxing film. Technically sound, excellently performed but the pace and editing are a little messy.
January 17, 2010
A miserable film, hard o engage with and harder to like. At turns both sympathetic and seemingly exploitative of it's subjects. But I think when John Waters dubbed it 'Depression porn' he was perfectly right, so I think it does what it sets out to do and achieves it well enough. Perhaps it was a glossier treatment of similar themes, but I far preferred the approach of Fatih Akin's 'The Edge of Heaven' with it's split narratives that slightly overlapped. This doesn't have the same strength of a narrative arc, but it is unflinching in it's portrayal of a Europe which is mostly overlooked. I'm sitting right on the fence of this New European Extremism in cinema.
January 10, 2010
Very depressing and sad film. However, it was very well acted and directed. It will stay with you after you watch this film. Some of the content is not for everyone. The nudity and sexual scenes go beyond the normal non adult film. Very good film.
January 4, 2010
this highly absorbing pseudo-documentary from Ulrich Seidl (he of the amazing Animal Love) is an asymmetric take on the brutally mundane horrors of two separate lives - the exteriors in the Ukraine and Slovakia are breathtaking, as are the cruel anodyne interiors in Vienna; the extraordinary final act in the old people's home echoes some of Frederick Wiseman's finest work
½ November 9, 2009
Very gritty and dark. Glad I watched the interview with director before as I probably couldnt have watched all the way through otherwise.
½ October 31, 2009
It is a bit bleak to say the least. Could have easliy been made in UK or anywhere in Europe. Some pretty good camera work in there
½ October 19, 2009
It may lacks a bit direcionwise and its scenario may not be as concrete as it should have been, but mostly with the robust acting and the powerful photography it provokes very strong emotions, depicting european societies at the lowest end of their economical and cultural situation. It takes patience and an open mind to be watched, but it's highly rewarding.
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