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Tuesday, 12. 03. 2019 / 17:00 / Main Hall

Early Bird: Festival at Five

Styx Styx

Wolfgang Fischer / Germany, Austria / 2018 / 94 min / English, German


Tuesday, 12. 03. 2019 / 17:00 / Main Hall

Early Bird: Festival at Five

Wolfgang Fischer’s allegorical, existential drama depicts a struggle for survival at sea, making palpable the cruel situation of people whose fate is determined by others.


40-year-old Rike is a doctor whose job demands everything of her. She intends to use her much-needed annual holiday to fulfil her dream of sailing from Gibraltar to Ascension, a small tropical island in the middle of the Atlantic. Her desire for a carefree holiday seems to be coming to pass but then, after a storm, her adventure suddenly turns into a challenge when she spots a hopelessly overloaded refugee boat nearby. Rike tries to organise help, but she increasingly feels that humanitarianism has deteriorated into mere wishful thinking.

“Changing the idea to show a couple sailing around the world to a solo yachtswoman was the decision that the co-writer and I came up with. It was better to show a single person out on the ocean, a woman all on her own, in this archaic world, not a couple who can talk to each other, help each other. The idea was to have one person going from north to south, and then they meet in the middle of the ocean. And that’s the contrast that can be seen. There’s the sailor, she’s skilled, she has all the security systems with her, and on the other side you have these people who have nothing on board, no contact, nothing, with nobody to help them. And this clash was the base of the movie.” (Wolfgang Fischer)

Wolfgang Fischer
Born in Vienna, in 1970, he studied psychology and painting in Vienna, as well as film and video at the Art Academy Düsseldorf. He later took a degree in film at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne. In 2005 he received a scriptwriting scholarship for a Munich screenplay workshop where he developed the script for his debut film What You Don’t See.

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