Frau Maria is the last employee of Stastny Fabrics, a shop in the former textile district in the heart of Vienna. While she prepares bales of fabric for the clearance sale in premises that have gone unchanged for decades, she tells of better times, when business flourished and work was a pleasure. She removes the company nameplate and locks the shop for the last time: With it a part of Vienna’s Jewish history disappears.
If you cross the street at the fabric shop, you’ll find yourself right in front of the building whose owner plays the leading role in the second film (we’ve already met a few other figures in the fabric shop):
Dr. H. owns a multi-million-dollar property in the heart of Vienna. He inherited it from his aunt, who wasn’t really his aunt. Dr. H. is melancholy and wouldn’t mind putting an end to his life, if it weren’t for his brother B., who isn’t really his brother. Dr. H. tells how, with the help of a veterinarian, he brought B. out of a coma resulting from cardiac arrest, and how B. helped him get the building from his so-called aunt. Dr. H. has set up a charitable foundation that will begin operations after he dies. The filmmaker decides to intervene.
It was a conscious decision not to use intercuts, close-ups, reflectors, or artificial light.
Sometimes, when clouds gather, it gets dark. I think that goes well with what Dr. H. tells us. The fact that what he says – particularly with regard to women – is not always "politically correct" seems to me to be a part of his fragile reality.
"Perhaps the most unusual submission of the Diagonale within recent years. It crosses borders, both thematically as well as formally, and remains deliberately reduced in its means. A beam of light peeks gradually into the history from unlit rooms and we immerse ourselves in a unique Viennese microcosmos that is hard to classify. Originally conceptualized as a supporting film, Caspar Pfaundler’s documentary trespass unfolds its power through consistent rawness and unconditionality, that can be found both in protagonists and their staging in film and life. A remarkable piece of art that needs to be discussed – not least because what you have seen and talked about has a lasting effect. Somewhere between portraiture and cinematic invasion."
Sebastian Höglinger (Diagonale Film Festival) and Alejandro Bachmann (Curator)