24-hours-2024-24-stunden-friedl-recensione-review-kritik

24 HOURS

      Comments Off on 24 HOURS

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

by Harald Friedl

grade: 7

24 Hours, while showing us a reality that is not always idyllic and at the same time criticising a system in which the human being is not always considered as such, has also often proved to be extremely poetic and sensitive. At the Diagonale 2024.

Sadina’s routine

In Austria, approximately 60,000 Romanian nurses take care of elderly or sick people every day. The Austrian nursing reform, at the same time, seems to disregard the working conditions of these people. And often, these working conditions do not allow them to have a life of their own or to take care of their loved ones. One of these nurses is Sadina, who comes from the city of Vulcan, Romania, and travels every week to Bad Vöslau, Austria, to take care of the elderly Elisabeth, who suffers from dementia. Her extraordinary story is told by director Harald Friedl in his documentary 24 Hours, which premiered at the Diagonale 2024.

The day is coming to an end. Sadina has just been to visit her parents. Her mother, at the thought that she must leave again, cries. Sadina consoles her, asks her not to cry, otherwise it will be even more difficult for her to leave. The night passes too quickly in her small flat, and by dawn the woman must already catch the bus that will take her to Bad Vöslau together with her colleagues. Bad Vöslau is a small spa town popular with tourists, yet Sadina, despite working there for a long time, has never managed to visit it. Elisabeth requires a lot of care and sometimes it is even difficult to find time to smoke a cigarette.

In 24 Hours, therefore, Harald Friedl shows us her routine through a simple and direct direct directorial approach without ever ‘interfering’ with the reality shown to us. In the morning, everything takes place according to a precise ritual. Elisabeth is always reluctant when she has to be washed. It is not always easy to relate to her since, due to dementia, she is often grumpy. Yet, in 24 Hours, there is no lack of moments of serenity and tenderness. And in showing us the complex relationship between the two protagonists, the director’s camera often gives us precious close-ups and details of hands holding each other.

Yes, because, in fact, this precious little 24 Hours, while showing us a reality that is not always idyllic and criticising, at the same time, a system in which the human being is not always considered as such, has also often turned out to be extremely poetic and sensitive. The elderly Elisabeth, despite her difficult personality, is undoubtedly tender. Sadina, on the other hand, is a patient woman who has never lost hope of one day realising her dream of a parachute flight. Just like in the videos she is used to watching at night in her room, while Elisabeth sleeps. Their routine never seems to end. Sadina works round the clock. Will the day ever come when a law will finally give her better working conditions? That, today, we cannot know. The important thing, however, is never to lose hope of one day being able to fly free and happy.

Original title: 24 Stunden
Directed by: Harald Friedl
Country/year: Austria / 2024
Running time: 100’
Genre: documentary
Screenplay: Harald Friedl
Cinematography: Helmut Wimmer
Produced by: Mischief Films

Info: the page of 24 Hours on the website of the Diagonale; the page of 24 Hours on the website of the Austrian Film Commission; the page of 24 Hours on the website of the Mischief Films