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