Directed by Ulrich Seidl
I think I need to see Ulrich's Seidl's German film "Import/Export" a few more times, because after the first half hour or so-when I slowly began to see what the movie was about-almost every scene on its own seems real strange and poorly done, but on the whole it all adds up to quite an interesting film-an almost certain commentary on countries like the Ukraine and Austria, and a strong character film of two people that are not connected in anyway but trying to change their lifestyles. Of course the film is loaded with quite a few sexual remarks, including one rather graphic sexuality scene, to which about thirty people in the packed crowd ended up leaving with disgusted faces-and that was one of the highlights of the day.
"Import/Export" takes two people-Olga and Paul. Olga is moving from the Ukraine to Austria. In the Ukraine she is terribly poor and lonely, and cannot take care of her little baby. At one point she tries to get a job in an internet sex den, but decides to just leave the country for better work. Once she escapes from Ukraine she ends up getting a job as a nurse, where she finds solace in the poor old lonely man named Erich. On the flip side is Paul, a brutal and rather disgusting person who moves from Austria to Ukraine on a road trip with his stepfather to install video gambling machines. He owes his stepfather a large sum of money, and his stepfather won't let him alone without the payment.
This is the basic setup, and for the next two hours and change we follow both of these characters as they go on their own journey, and even though they are different people going to different places, their lives are quite the same. Each time we focus on their own lives for a while we end up getting a little vignette, many of them don't seem to make sense until later on, and many of them will leave you feeling unsatisfied and maybe even a little confused. But on the whole, Seidl's commentary of these two countries-vastly different in location-are ending up becoming very much the same. I do want to talk about the dubbed graphic sex scene-it really isn't that bad, but it goes on for a while-as well as the depiction of women throughout. It is quite lurid, and women are shown more as animals and pets rather than human beings. But this is part of the commentary, and Seidl is just depicting what his vision of life is like living in and around these countries. It was tough to watch, but it all adds up to his overall theme. It's films like this and "Lady Chatterley" that depict sex in a strong and graphic way, but it never feels like it is unneeded. It's the motif that seems to fit the best. "Import/Export" is a rather tough film to watch, but its a wicked dark comedy commentary on two countries that aren't heard of a lot, and its interesting to watch. I enjoyed it on the whole.