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Import Export [Blu-ray] [2008]

3.9 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Ekateryna Rak, Paul Hoffman, Michael Thomas, Georg Friedrich
  • Directors: Ulrich Seidl
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Trinity Production Co. Ltd.
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Oct. 2009
  • Run Time: 135 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002HTWBXG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,989 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Powerful and rewarding, filled with striking imagery shot by cameraman Ed Lachman (Erin Brockovich, Far From Heaven) and featuring extraordinarily potent performances from its cast, Import Export is the new film from director Ulrich Seidl (Dog Days). A tour de force journey through modern-day Europe, Import Export tells two parallel stories: Olga (Ekateryna Rak) who leaves behind her mother and young child in the Ukraine to seek out a better life in Vienna; and a headstrong young security guard (Paul Hofmann) who leaves Vienna to accompany his stepfather on a trip delivering gumball machines in Eastern Europe. Hailed by critics as a startling and bold film, it is without doubt recent European cinema s most provocative and audacious investigation of the post-Soviet universe and the new relations between East and West.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A Ukrainian nurse and an Austrian security officer in their 20s face brutality of life when their career/work stops bringing income. They are forced to move to 'the other side of Europe'. With their adventures we learn to what degree Eastern Europe is deprived and Western Europe privileged.
An alternative film title could read 'What the news will never tell you about how the other half lives'.

Let not the DVD cover deceive you: this is not a film about sex trafficking or every day life of a local brother. This is certainly not a new 'Trainspotting'. This is a bitter view on Europe as we do not know it bombarded by media on one hand and stereotypes on another.

The film showcased lives of ordinary Western and Eastern Europe citizens trapped by circumstances. Both characters are not willing to be life victims but they are not quite able to find their luck.
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This is a very bleak film. it does not make for easy viewing. It is an exploration in to how young and old people can become so degraded by others because of the circumstances in which they exist. It is a film about vulnerability and exploitation; how people become all the vulnerable in places which are not their homes. What comes across in the film, however, is the strong sense of humanity and warmth which is personalised in the role of Olga (played with great conviction by Ekateryan Rak)) who is a qualified nurse but has to leave Ukraine because she is repeatedly underpaid for the job she has to do. She eventually finds a job as a cleaner in a nursing home, she gives much more to her job than cleaning and here we experience some extremely poignant moments. Olga's role contrasts starkly with that of Pauli (Paul Hoffman) who helps his lecherous step-father export some rather clapped out gaming machines to Eastern Europe. It is on such an excursion we see Pauli's step-father buying the dignity of a young Ukrainian woman; this scene is rather unpleasant and quite long. Is it really necessary? Were all the scenes of sexual exploitation really necessary in this film? The film takes us over the precipice as to what horrible things money can buy. This stands starkly with Olga, who has nothing but her humanity, gives it to the people who need it most. An extremely bleak and challenging film.
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As you see the director's profile, you will find out that he had made a lot of documentaries before. You will find out that this film is like one of the documentary as well althouh it is a fiction story that he created.
If you see the poster or the artwork of the dvd, you will feel that this might be some kind of pornographic film but it is far from it. The director is wise enough to make the audiences' attention, to draw more people's attention to come and see his movie. That is the reason why he made more explicit nude shots. It is not all about nudity and explicit exposure of women's body shots and there is a reason why he made this film.
There are two main charactors in this film. One is a woman who is an ex-nurse who is from Ukrania that came to Austria after being fired, and another man who is a night security guard who is from Austria to Ukrania looking for a job. Both are suffering for having no job. But they are quite different.

Now that's the point of this movie I guess.
The woman did all kinds of things to survive. She did sex chatting with the internet camera. It was really pain because the man inside the internet always asked all kinds of dirty things to her by shouting and screaming to her and it was really not comfortable for her. Such as spreading her legs, showing her thing more closer and all. The thing is she is not a professional prostitute and all that things that men are asking is really pain thing to do.
She decides to go to Austria a dream country for her. But it is not easy for her there too. The job she found was cleaning the hospital where a bunch of old people are hospitalized. Some of them are dying in their sleep and there is this one grandfather who are nice to her who is also from Ukrania. She was so sad him dead.
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This film attempts, by being gritty hyper-realism, to convince us of something about Europe's condition (or economic man's, if you prefer a bit of universality), but look, I had a friend who worked in an industrial laundry in Hampshire in the Eighties and they did all the local hospital's unspeakable bedlinen, and they had one pair of rubber gloves between 6 people, yet in this film everyone in East Europe has their own pair of gloves. This is a trivial example, I'm too well aware of that, but in general this film's artificialities don't convince me, since they are all basically just too well controlled, too carefully crafted, too much tasteful design and cinematography. It's a stylised, synthetic version of what are unbearably ugly realities, and I don't need a movie like this to make me examine, or pride myself in, my moral compass. 2.9 stars rounded up.
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Not a bit like the present day Hollywood smaltz but a tough depiction of what life can be actually like. It is intelligent and rightly cynical depiction of unfortunates; one from Austria heading East and the other from Ukraine heading West. It is also a sensitive but no holds barred story of people who fell out of the net of their widely disparate societies, each searching relief by heading in diffrerent directions. I've watched it twice and it was on the second occasion that I decided that this was a tremendous film; full of touching sometimes disturbing scenes but ultimately profound statement of the two fine protagonists. Heartily recommend this to be watched with sympathy and patience. It should change you somewhat.
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