Austrian Selection: Why Not You (Hochwald)
Available to Stream
From: Saturday, November 21, 7:00pm EST
To: Sunday, November 22, 11:59pm EST
Austria/Belgium, 2020, 106 min., Written & Directed: Evi Romen, Cast: Thomas Prenn, Noah Saavedra, Josef Mohamed, Kida Khodr Ramadan
In German with English subtitles.
Rating (suggested): PG
Mario just loves to dance, but for someone like him to make a career of it is impossible. His friend, Lenz, who comes from the same village, can look full of hope into a bright future as an actor – he is the son of an urban vintner, while Mario lives with his mother above the village butcher’s shop, fights his addiction to drugs, and, after breaking off an apprenticeship, keeps his head above the water with odd jobs.
During a stay in Rome where Lenz is about to embark on a scholarship for talented students, they become victims of a violent attack. Lenz dies. Mario survives uninjured. Reactions in the village after his return alone send Mario into a spin. He finds no support in the village structure, the Catholic church can provide no succor, and it seems everyone – including Lenz‘s parents – thinks that the wrong one has been taken.
On one of his wanderings through the city down in the valley, Mario meets Nadim, who distributes Korans in the pedestrian zone. Unexpectedly Mario finds support with Nadim and his brothers, and receives help in overcoming his addiction. Mario’s transformation into a Muslim is an affront to the whole village. But despite all sorrows, his heart beats for dancing.
Evi Romen, born 1967 in Bolzano, South Tyrol, is an Austrian film editor, screenwriter and director. She studied camera and editing at the Vienna Film Academy and has worked as an editor for numerous Austrian feature films since the early 1990s. In 2011 she was awarded the Diagonale-Prize for best editing for the feature film Mein bester Feind. As a screenwriter, she writes for An Honorable Woman (Eine Ehrbahre Frau), 1999, and, together with David Schalko, for the TV series M – A Town looking for a Murderer (M – Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder), 2019. The screenplay for Why Not You is awarded the Carl Mayer Screenplay Prize. Why Not You is her first feature as a director.