Lord knows what they're putting in the water in Austria these days, but it ain't happy pills! Like Michael Haneke's Code Unknown, Seidl's first fiction film cuts back and forth between half-a-dozen characters who may occasionally cross paths. There's the mental girl who hitches rides from the supermarket and proceeds to provoke and insult her benefactors; the security advisor plying for trade; the sexist asshole insanely jealous of his girl; the divorcee still living with her alienated husband. Seidl has a couple of controversial documentaries to his name (Werner Herzog is a big fan) and he apparently used an improvisational method here, although it's framed with careful ironic poise. Seidl himself is a lot like the crazy hitcher: pushing and humiliating his characters and his audience alike. There are a couple of extremely explicit orgy scenes, one featuring the Austrian National Anthem. They're probably meant as shock therapy.
Cast and crew
Ulrich Seidl, Veronika Franz
Alfred Mrva Maria Hofstätter Georg Friedrich Christine Jirku Viktor Hennemann