Heldenplatz, 19. Februar 2000 is an extremely direct and essential documentary, which mainly aims to make the audience think about the new government and what it might cause in Austria (and beyond). As part of the retrospective Österreich real of the Filmarchiv Austria.
The extreme right-wing FPÖ party came to power on February 4, 2000. This meant a return to a dramatic past, in which hate towards those considered “different” was practically commonplace. Could artists, writers or even ordinary citizens therefore remain indifferent to an event of such significance? Absolutely not. And indeed, on February 19 of the same year, a large demonstration took place on Heldenplatz in Vienna, in order to bring about a return to a less “extreme” situation in Austria and to make Austria itself and the whole world realise how dangerous certain realities can be. Director Constantin Wulff was ready, therefore, to observe this demonstration closely and to interview separately some personalities who had spoken out during this protest. Thus, the documentary Heldenplatz, 19. Februar 2000 , which was completed in 2002 and recently re-presented to the audience on the occasion of the retrospective Österreich real of the Filmarchiv Austria, was realised.
Heldenplatz is all lit and crowded. Various representatives of Austrian political and cultural life take the stage one by one. Personalities such as the writer Marlene Streeruwitz, the politician and journalist Michel Friedman, the singer and comedian Willi Resetarits, but also university students have lots and lots to say. At the end of the event, Constantin Wulff had the opportunity to meet each of them, to discuss certain topics in depth, to reflect on a dramatic present and an uncertain future.
Heldenplatz, 19. Februar 2000 is an extremely direct and essential documentary, which mainly aims to make the audience think about the new government and what it might cause in Austria (and beyond). Seven personalities have their say in this important film by Constantin Wulff. Each of them comes from a certain context. Each of them has his or her own, personal cultural background. Each of them is firmly convinced that the time has finally come to rebel. Art is resistance. And just like Constantin Wulff, many other filmmakers wanted to record this essential historical moment, in order to urge the people to react.
Another essential work realised precisely under such circumstances is the short documentary Zero Crossing, which director Johannes Holzhausen shot and edited in just three days in 2000 and which was also presented as part of the Österreich real retrospective. Compared to Heldenplatz, 19. Februar 2000 , in Zero Crossing we get to hear the impressions and testimonies of lesser-known people, in a documentary that is even simpler and more essential from a directorial point of view. In this work by Constantin Wulff, on the other hand, archive footage and direct interviews alternate continuously, before a daytime shot of the Vienna Parliament at the close of the documentary. Both works are distinguished by a distinct communicative power, both seem, after many years, to complement each other. Two documentaries of great historical and social importance with the aim of making not only Austria, but the whole world a better place.
Original title: Heldenplatz, 19. Februar 2000
Directed by: Constantin Wulff
Country/year: Austria / 2002
Running time: 60’
Screenplay: Johannes Holzhausen, Dominik Kamalzadeh, Dieter Pichler, Constantin Wulff
Cinematography: Joerg Burger
Produced by: Navigator Film