Franz West (1909-85) remembers his youth in Vienna: the variety of the Jewish population of the so called Matzah-Island, his commitment to the worker’s movement of the Red Vienna and the rise of Austro-fascism and National Socialism.
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What an important movie. Now more than ever. It clearly shows how parenthetically a dark ideology can sneak into people's minds and thus into a whole society – all slowly and silently. A pleasure to listen to this man tell his story as a jew in a society that changed from democratic to fascist in no time. His voice is soothing, his words well chosen.
A pleasant surprise from Mubi. Now, that many people in Europe (or is it most of them?) tend to live in a state of everlasting present without any strong connexion to the political past of the continent, films like "Wien Retour" give the audience the opportunity to wonder why things turned out the way they did then and what lessons are to be learned concerning the actual political situation in Europe.
There are - like another user has already mentioned - some problems in merging and editing the different types of material (interviews, archiv material, film excerpts) which result in a certain roughness and unevenness of this film. Nonetheless, it is a very important documentary - especially if you look at recent events in European and Austrian history.
Sumar el Arena y este filme da como resultado el conocimiento de una parte valiosa de Viena: una capital conocida por el arte pero muy poco por su perspectiva política.
Con tranquilidad y precisión el personaje nos lleva de la mano por una Viena que llegará al ascenso del nazismo y el fascismo en su peor faceta. Con apoyo de elementos de cine de archivo que dejan ver el espítiru de la época.
This is a sober political documentary and, given the enormity of the perpetrated crimes, entirely free of any populist fanfare. Illuminating in terms of stills and short film exctracts, it conveys well the collective effervescence of social democracy and the terror that ensued National Socialism. Its limitation is purely cinematic as it could have had better editing, alternating words with additional imagery.
La historia de Franz West engloba no solo el ascenso del nazismo al poder en Austria, sino también, y de manera paralela, la desintegración del Partido Social Demócrata, y de como su tibieza significó también, una posición política. La película no es solo un documento; es una resistencia, una lucha contra el olvido. Es una precuela de La masacre, sino tiene final es porque ya lo conocemos todos.
8/10 + a huge heart. Almost exactly a year ago I visited the Jewish Museum in Vienna, so watching this film was a "return to Vienna" for me as well, in a way. This authentic, non-pretentious tale of a charming, intelligent man from a nation I highly respect and from a city I'm in love with is something really precious to me.