With a sharp eye, Nikolaus Geyrhalter (Homo sapiens, Our Daily Bread) explores the few square kilometres around the Brenner Pass. In 2016, this border between Austria and Italy suddenly became the setting for changing EU policy to the refugee crisis. After the closure of the Balkan route, Austria feared that refugees would flood through the Brenner Pass. So in the spring of 2016, the government took “construction measures”, a euphemism for putting up a fence.
Filmed in precisely composed shots, Geyrhalter conducted detailed interviews with local police officers, hikers, farmers, toll collectors and caféowners. We hear a wide spectrumof views, often remarkably balanced, and ranging from covert xenophobia to criticism of the populist government. Geyrhalter respects every opinion and makes no judgments.
Using wide-angle lenses and long shots, Geyrhalter uses hiscamera to record a static and almost immobile Tirol. In his portrait of locals and their deeply-rooted traditions, healso hints at the absurdity of the border, telling a larger, urgent story about the state of Europe.
GOOD TO KNOW
Director: Nikolaus Geyrhalter
Duration: 112 minutes
Subtitels: English subtitles
The open-air film starts after sundown, which is around 21:30. If it’s raining, the film will be screened indoors in the Genève hall. Drinks and snacks will be available on our terrace before the film starts.
More info & tickets: https://www.humanityhouse.org/en/event/the-border-fence/