Schlingensief's Container in Vienna © Filmgalerie 451

Tue, 05/15/2018

TIFF Bell Lightbox

350 King St. W.

Series co-presented with the Laser Blast Film Society & KinoVortex

Iconoclast, enfant terrible, agent provocateur. While many would call German filmmaker-performer-activist Christoph Schlingensief (1960-2010) fearless, he himself said shortly before his untimely death that to make good work, “I have to approach those I fear”. GOETHE FILMS features core Schlingensief projects that tackle the ghosts of Europe's past, present and future – fascism, capitalism, division and reunification – in his signature no-holds-barred splatter style. 

FOREIGNERS OUT! SCHLINGENSIEFS CONTAINER (Austria 2002, 90 min), documentary directed by Paul Poet, with Christoph Schlingensief, Luc Bondy, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Einstürzende Neubauten, Elfriede Jelinek, Peter Sellars, Peter Sloterdijk

Co-presented by the Images Festival

Images Award at Images Festival Toronto 2004
Rotterdam International Film Festival 2003
Ars Electronica Linz 2002

When in 2000 the “Austrian Freedom Party” FPÖ was the first extreme right-wing party to become part of the government after WWII, Christoph Schlingensief decided to express his protest in the touristy heart of Vienna. Right beside the picturesque opera house, he installed a public concentration camp – one that cynically reflected media culture: a “Big Brother” container with a dozen asylum seekers in it, surveilled by cameras, giving passers-by the opportunity to watch and to feed them. Via online voting the public could chose two asylum seekers a day to be kicked out of the country. Schlingensief’s cruelly sarcastic container provoked massive protests, violent attacks, and headlines all over Europe.

Vienna-based filmmaker Paul Poet made a documentary about the action, not only showing the event but re-translating the happening into a piece of art and thereby highlighting its timeless relevance.
“A film paced like the lighting speed at which agent provocateur Schlingensief talks the talk, breaking down the barriers between stage and reality.” – taz
Born in Saudi Arabia in 1971, Paul Poet moved to Vienna in 1984 where he works as a DJ and promoter in the underground music scene and as a music and film critic. After directing several music videos, the Schlingensief documentary was his debut full-length film.
Christoph Schlingensief worked feverishly across opera, installation, theatre, film, political activism, radio play, TV, and writing; immersing himself and his open-mouthed audiences in horror, trash, satire, and the experimental, being honoured for it at ICA London, the Venice Biennial (winning the Golden Lion posthumously), MoMA PS1, Centre Pompidou and other prestigious institutions. Christoph Schlingensief was an ogre as well as an oracle of things to come, from new media movements to right-wing resurgence.
Born in 1960 in West Germany, Schlingensief made his first 8mm film at the age of eight. Since then he created more than 20 films, several with the support of the Goethe-Institut. After learning he had lung cancer in 2008, Schlingensief wrote about his illness and published his diary. He died in 2010. His legacy is the Opera Village Africa, an international art and educational project in Burkina Faso, which he realized together with award-winning Berlin architect Francis Kéré.
The program title "Approach those you fear" references a quote by Christoph Schlingensief in a 3sat TV interview 2008.

All GOETHE FILMS are open to audience 18+. Viewer discretion advised.

Part of the Goethe Institut's focus on German film

Part of the series GOETHE FILMS: Schlingensief: Approach Those You Fear

05/10 | 6:30pm | "The 120 Days of Bottrop" by Christoph Schlingensief
05/17 | 6:30pm | "German Chainsaw Massacre" by Christoph Schlingensief + "Holding of Skulls" by Alexander Kluge