inland-2019-gladik-review

INLAND

      No Comments on INLAND

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian) Deutsch (German)

by Ulli Gladik

grade: 7

Inland is a documentary that plays on ambivalence, on inner conflict, on the juxtaposition of different realities within a European capital that, since time immemorial, has always been a crossroads of many cultures, due to its particular geographical position.

It happens today

Vienna. October 2017. A few months after the last general election, it’ s time to go to the polls again. The extreme right, represented by the Reds’ party, once again won the day. But what, in fact, led the Austrian population to such a drastic choice? Documentary filmmaker Ulli Gladik has attempted, in her own way, to answer this question with the documentary Inland, premiered at the Diagonale 2019, within the section dedicated to contemporary documentaries.

The so-called latent fascism that has always pervaded Austrian society – and specifically the Viennese bourgeoisie – has been denounced for decades by intellectuals and artists throughout the country. If we think of a movement such as the Social Theatre (whose main exponents are authors such as Thomas Bernhardt, Elfriede Jelinek and Peter Turrini), then the above-mentioned issue becomes a true backbone of the artistic movement.

This sharp criticism has therefore found a good basis in various historical moments, from the election in 2008 of Jörg Haider (who died only a week later) to October 2017. And it’s precisely from here that this interesting work by Ulli Gladik begins.

Filmed between 2017 and 2018 – and set mainly in the Viennese neighbourhoods of Favoriten, Ottakring and Rennbahnweg – Inland gathers a series of testimonies from those who made the Reds come to power, showing us as they change their attitude towards the government and, above all, how they relate to what they fear most: immigrants.

The director, for her part, just follows the characters step by step in their everyday lives, trying to be as “invisible” as possible, giving them the opportunity to speak and let off steam freely. Inland is a work that deliberately avoids any kind of directorial virtuosity and concentrates on the essential. With much welcome irony. At this point, then, precisely because of the approach adopted with the people interviewed, as well as the director’s choice to be almost completely invisible, we can only think of some of the works of Ukrainian documentary filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa (although, obviously, stylistically speaking, we are in fact dealing with two quite opposite realities).

All the most common clichés regarding the issue of immigration are slowly exposed in front of the camera’s silent lens, which, in turn, rather than being judgmental towards each person interviewed, wants to show us a varied, almost Bruegelian fresco of today’s society.

Thus, scenes are set in old breweries, in small flats or simply along the streets of Vienna, which, in turn, proves to be incredibly open and cosmopolitan.

Inland is a documentary that plays on ambivalence, on inner conflict, on the juxtaposition of different realities within a European capital that, since time immemorial, has always been a crossroads of many cultures, precisely because of its particular geographical position. A colourful and diversified fresco, within which one can experience as many realities as one wants.

Original title: Inland
Directed by: Ulli Gladik
Country/year: Austria / 2019
Running time: 95’
Genre: documentary
Screenplay: Ulli Gladik
Cinematography: Judith Benedikt, Elke Groen, Ulli Gladik
Produced by: Ulli Gladik

Info: the page of Inland on the website of the Diagonale