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An exceptional film on the topic of the trafficking in women and on the reality of life as an illegalized immigrant.

What could a customs official, a waiter in a brothel, a woman next door, a diplomat, and a taxi driver have in common? They could all be tangled up in the global trafficking in women. In the stylized system of Kurz davor ist es passiert, the five protagonists – in their everyday environment or on the job – tell of disappointed hopes, exploitation, subjection, abduction, modern slavery. It's made clear that they did not experience the events themselves – but what they relate did in fact happen. The texts that are read are taken from interviews with the women affected, who themselves do not appear. The (putative) evidence of a documentary naturalism is here no more trustworthy than an empathetic identification with individual fates. Instead, fiction and document permeate each other. The alienation effect caused by the simultaneous presentation of the documentary material and the fact that the interviews are explicitly staged puts narrative conventions, documentary strategies, and social conditions all into question.

Birgit Kohler

Production: Amour fou Filmproduktion, Vienna

Screenplay: Anja Salomonowitz

Cinematographer: Jo Molitoris

Editor: Frédéric Fichefet, Gregor Wille

Format: 35mm (shot on HDV), Color

Running time: 72 minutes

Language: German

Photo: © Amour Fou 2006

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur