zero-crossing-2000-holzhausen-recensione

ZERO CROSSING

      No Comments on ZERO CROSSING

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

by Johannes Holzhausen

grade: 7

Zero Crossing was realised by Johannes Holzhausen in just three days. Nine people were interviewed inside a small room. What will happen to them, their children, their jobs? Will it still be possible to go on living peacefully in an Austria where there seems to be no more respect for human beings themselves and where certain dynamics of the past seem never really forgotten? Within the retrospective Österreich real of the Filmarchiv Austria.

What will happen to Austria?

When something in a nation is in danger of changing forever, people are mobilised. This has always been a fact. If, therefore, in the documentary Heldenplatz, 19. Februar 2000 , we saw how director Constantin Wulff documented the protests in Vienna, on Heldenplatz, following the rise to power of the extreme right-wing political party FPÖ on February 4, 2000, in Zero Crossing Zero Crossingrecently re-presented to the audience on the occasion of the retrospective Österreich real of the Filmarchiv Austria – we can listen closely to some testimonies of people of different age groups and social backgrounds, each of whom is ready to confide in the director’s camera doubts and concerns regarding this new government and the very future of Austria.

Zero Crossing, then, was realised by Johannes Holzhausen in just three days. Nine people were interviewed inside a small room. The camera initially remains fixed on their faces and only brief captions inform us about their names and ages. What will become of them, their children, their work? Will they still be able to continue living peacefully in an Austria where there seems to be no respect for human beings themselves and where certain dynamics of the past seem never really to have been forgotten?

Zero Crossing brings the citizens to the foreground. The dialogue between them and the director is direct and sincere. Johannes Holzhausen, for his part, has renounced all directorial virtuosity, as well as music itself. What he wanted to communicate is the result of a spontaneous reaction following an event that could change the future of Austria forever. This important, essential documentary of his was therefore shot in a moment of shock, one almost gets the impression that there was not much time to prepare for the filming itself or to organise even a small crew. Yet, the message comes through loud and clear.

The protagonists of the documentary tell their impressions and part of their lives one after the other. Then, suddenly, the camera changes frame: now it is no longer just the single person who is filmed in the foreground. Now we can see the whole table at which the conversations take place. The director himself sits opposite the person he is interviewing, he immediately puts himself on his level. Thus, we see how he considers himself an “injured party'” we see how he himself feels directly involved in this new, unpleasant situation. Johannes Holzhausen, together with the other nine people he interviewed, thus becomes one of the main actors in this important Zero Crossing.

Would a short forty-minute documentary like this have been enough, then, to make people “open their eyes”? There have been many – artists, filmmakers, writers, but also ordinary citizens – who have had their say in this singular historical period. And the important thing is that history is never forgotten.

Original title: Zero Crossing
Directed by: Johannes Holzhausen
Country/year: Austria / 2000
Running time: 40’
Genre: documentary
Screenplay: Johannes Holzhausen
Cinematography: Joerg Burger
Produced by: Navigator Film

Info: the page of Zero Crossing on iMDb; the page of Zero Crossing on the website of the Filmarchiv Austria; the page of Zero Crossing on the website of the Austrian Film Commission; the page of Zero Crossing on the website of the Navigator Film; the page of Zero Crossing on the website of the sixpackfilm