VORFRÜHLING IM WIENERWALD

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by Various Authors

grade: 7.5

Vorfrühling im Wienerwald immediately bears witness to a timeless beauty. A beauty that, in spite of the passing years, always seems to remain intact and unchanged. The rich and precious Wienerwald, which has been for centuries a source of pride for every Viennese.

Not far from Vienna…

Green meadows on which the first spring flowers sprout. Long, sunny afternoons. The Cistercian monastery of Heiligenkreuz. And then, last but not least, the fascinating, mysterious and historically rich Wienerwald on the outskirts of the Austrian capital. All this is featured in Vorfrühling im Wienerwald, made in 1934 and produced by Österreich in Bild und Ton. A documentary, this one, which immediately bears witness to a very special historical period and which, therefore, must be placed within a special film strand that spread in Austria between the two world wars. In order to better understand the origins of this work, however, it is necessary to make a brief digression.

There are numerous documentaries – mainly produced between the 1930s and the 1940s – that bear witness to the beauty of the Austrian territory, with all its vast expanses of green, its monuments and its ancient traditions. These documentaries were mainly filmed for propaganda purposes (it is no coincidence that the years in which they were made were those in which Hitler had recently come to power) and stand out for an elementary directing style, which, at the same time, was able to pay the proper attention to what was being shown.

Vorfrühling im Wienerwald – recently re-presented to the audience by the Filmarchiv Austria as part of the retrospective Kino auf Sommerfrische – must therefore be ascribed to these propaganda-oriented documentaries, all of which were of a rather limited running time.

There were many cameramen within the country who were commissioned to film events or locations, in order to make the most of all the many potentials of a country like Austria. And in Vorfrühling im Wienerwald, one can easily say that the goal has been fully achieved. There is no place in the documentary for unnecessary voice-overs. Just as there is no place for any redundant captions. The word, here, is left entirely to the images, for an impactful and strongly contemplative mise-en-scène, perfectly in line with the emotions one feels when taking a walk through the vast Wienerwald.

And here, nature finally plays a leading role in a work in which the traces of man’s presence are only to be seen in important monuments built centuries and centuries before. And Vorfrühling im Wienerwald thus immediately bears witness to a timeless beauty. A beauty that, despite the passing of the years, always seems to remain intact and unchanged. The rich and precious Wienerwald, which has been for centuries a source of pride for every Viennese.

Original title: Vorfrühling im Wienerwald
Directed by: Various Authors
Country/year: Austria / 1934
Running time: 5’
Genre: documentary
Screenplay: Various Authors
Cinematography: Various Authors
Produced by: Österreich in Bild und Ton

Info: the website of the Filmarchiv Austria