Opening 18 Oct 2007
Writing credits: Veronika Franz, Ulrich Seidl
Principal actors: Ekateryna Rak, Paul Hofmann, Maria Hofstätter, Georg Friedrich, Herbert Fritsch
Two young people struggle to find security and self-assurance in difficult worlds which are not their own. They switch countries without ever meeting. Olga (Ekateryna Rak) leaves her nursing job, her child, her mother and their small apartment in the Ukraine and travels to Vienna. There, she starts from the bottom as a cleaning lady, first for a horrible, private family and then for a hospital. Paul (Paul Hofmann) is a tattooed young man who supports himself with his fists as a security guard in Vienna until he is outnumbered by thugs and loses his job. He scrounges money from friends and his stepfather, who finally takes him to the Ukraine where they set up gambling machines.
Import Export by Ulrich Seidl showed in competition at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. It is as depressing as two losers can possibly be, although Olga has the greater potential for success. The film is 30 minutes too long. However, like many festival films, here, too, individual scenes are unforgettable, such as the jolly patients in the geriatric ward, the deserted concrete apartments appropriated by gypsies, or the pornographic sex scenes. (Becky Tan)