Vienna, 1995. Jasmin, Tamara, Valentin, Senad and Roman live near the northern border of Austria. Their lives repeatedly intersect and drift apart. The characters involved are young migrants from the former Yugoslavia, Romania, Poland and Austria itself.
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**1/2. This film earned awards at Stockholm and Venice in 1999. It's typically a festival movie about Austria's identity. Not bad if you want to think a little bit about immigration in Europe and disappointing if you want to see a film aiming at excellence. Almost already forgotten.
The complex, fragmentary debut film, ''Northern Skirts'' evokes the social and emotional tremors that rumble through a southern Austrian town near the Slovenian border. The movie, which examines the relationships among some young people (some of them refugees), suggests how a war can sneak across the border, even when no shots are fired, and erode an orderly society's everyday sense of its own continuity.