Austrian Days at RIFF

The Austrian Focus at this year’s Reykjavik International Film Festival is a very welcome opportunity to demonstrate that our films come in all shapes and sizes. As dramas and documentaries, as genre films, essays and comedies, some add a bitter twist with relish, others clearly signal cult potential. What’s more, though: I think quite a few of them qualify as the right films for the right time – and this should certainly not be misunderstood as another stale phrase or as some cheap excuse to grab your attention. The majority of RIFF’s rich sample of Austrian films are clearly trying to lure you out of your comfort zone, to surprise and challenge you. At any rate, expect to be served some serious food for thought.

I hope you get a chance to watch one or the other of our films, feel inspired and will agree that some of these filmmakers nailed it, or in other words: that they made the right films for the right time.

Martin Schweighofer

Executive director of

AFC Austrian Films

On 1st October at 18:30 there will be a reception at Bíó Paradís on behalf of the Austrian Embassy in Iceland.

The film Earth will be screened in Bíó Paradís at 17:00 on Tuesday. Several billion tons of earth are moved annually by humans – with shovels, excavators or dynamite. Nikolaus Geyrhalter observes people, in mines, quarries and at large construction sites, engaged in a constant struggle to take possession of the planet. You’ve heard of climate change but this documentary is about landscape change.

Nobadi will be screened in Bíó Paradís at 23:15 on Tuesday. A cranky old man (Senft), a dead dog and a refugee from Afghanistan (Adib) who is digging a hole for four Euro an hour. Nobaditells the story of two people who have nothing in common but share everything for just a few hours. When Senft finds Adib unconscious at the bus stop, he knows he will need to help the young man.

Die Kinder der Toten will be screened in Bíó Paradís at 21:20 on Tuesday. Elfriede Jelinek’s monumental novel “Die Kinder der Toten”, her most important one according to her own assessment, served as the template for a free movie adaptation produced in the original locations near the places where the Nobel Prize Laureate grew up. A SUPER 8 holiday film from Upper Styria slowly turns into the resurrection of “undead” spooks. Berlinale film critics awarded it the FIPRESCI Prize.

Chaos will be screened at 16:45 in Bíó Paradís on Tuesday. CHAOS tells of three women in three different countries. One lives in Damascus, she has stopped speaking to others entirely, isolating herself in her flat. The other has left Damascus as a result of the war and went to Sweden, where she imprisons herself in her paintings, hoping through them to rid herself of the torments of the past. The third winds up in Vienna and faces an unknown future. The story of three Syrian women separated by the very thing that unites them – fear itself and trauma itself.

Movements of a nearby Mountain will be screened in Bíó Paradís at 19:15 on Tuesday. In a remote, abandoned industrial site near a centuries-old ore mine in the Austrian Alps, a self-taught mechanic runs a business exporting used cars to his native Nigeria. As he pursues his lonely day-to-day activities with wondrous serenity, past, present and future begin to overlap.