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Breathtaking in the humor that lies in its images and the humanity that suddenly appears in the most unexpected moments, as if the filmmaker, who has now moved up into the ranks of the great masters, needs only to look long enough where no one else has to find a totally unique form of truth and beauty. (Die Süddeutsche, Tobias Kniebe)

Every Cannes has its shocker, its scandal and Ulrich Seidl's Import Export came close to this Prize. Seidl's eye for the grotesque makes him the Diane Arbus of world cinema, and this was often startling, horrible and brilliant. (The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw)

Perhaps it is the Austrian Ulrich Seidl who of all today's filmmakers best understands how to translate with precision, transparency, and spleen the inner depths of suffering people in magnificent film images. Seidl tells of sexual humiliation and brutal violence, hesitant human contacts and banal nastiness in long, constantly new and surprising shots, and exhibits so much garish poetry and tenderness that you unresistingly fall victim to the magic of his horror world. Bathed in the greenish aura of the nightlights, the ward of a Viennese hospital, shared by ten ancient individuals waiting to die, fills with a concert of groans and death rattles. The scene seems endless, unbearable, and yet incredibly beautiful. And lets us perceive for an instant that at its best film art is a promise of redemption in the life of woes full of pain and humiliations of our resplendent world. (Der Spiegel, Wolfgang Höbel)

A film that leaves behind thundering silence. (Katja Nicodemus, Die Zeit)

Import Export is a disturbing, sometimes brilliant new film by Austrian film director Ulrich Seidl. It was very hard to watch, but I have the feeling I will need to see it again. (New York Times, Manohla Dargis)

Rarely has Seidl achieved a better balance: On the one hand painting a fantastically realistic cosmos while on the other hand populating it with figures that are not the puppets of an artistic world view… Import Export is a film that hours and days later continues to inhabit [work on] you. (Claus Philipp, Der Standard)

Import Export is a great film by a fierce humanist. (Die Presse, Christoph Huber)

In its minimalism Import Export is Seidl's most radical film yet. (Kurier, Gert Korentschnig)


John Waters votes Import Export best film of 2009
Cult film director John Waters has selected Ulrich Seidl's Import Export as number 1 on his Ten Best List of 2009. The American director wrote, "The most sorrowful movie of the year is also the best. The miserable lives of Ukrainian immigrants in Vienna makes this agonizing but brilliantly directed opus the cinematic equivalent of slitting your wrists. A new genre? Depression porn? Hey, I got off."

Import Export isn't the first film by Ulrich Seidl to be spotlighted by Waters. Writing for the Wall Street Journal, he named Seidl's documentary Jesus, You Know best foreign-language film of 2006. That he was, as he admitted, the only spectator in the theater didn't diminish his conviction that Jesus, You Know is "a great movie."

An American filmmaker, actor, writer, journalist, visual artist and art collector, Waters rose to fame in the early 1970s for his transgressive cult films as well as his trash trilogy: Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble and Desperate Living. In the late 1980s Waters flirted with mainstream filmmaking with Hairspray (1988), his most famous and most popular film.

John Waters Top Ten Liste


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Stefan Grissemann writes about the shooting of "Import Export",  Profil 15 / 10.4.2006 > PDF 2.400 KB

Cannes: Presse / 22.05.07 > JPG 704 KB | Standard / 22.05.07 > JPG 600 KB | Kurier / 22.05.07 > PDF 610 KB | Le Monde / 23.05.07 > JPG 505 KB |  Profil 22 / 25.5.2007 > PDF 1600 KB | Süddeutsche Zeitung / 22.05.07 > JPG 370 KB

Further critics: CAHIERS DU CINEMA / janvier 2009 >>> download JPG 500 KB | Le Monde / Mercredi 7 janvier 2009 >>> download JPG 300 KB | Libération / Mercredi 7 janvier 2009 >>> download JPG 1600 KB

Profil 45 / 5.11.2007 > PDF 3100 KB | Falter 42 / 07 > PDF 1.400 KB | Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung / 18.10.07 > PDF 2.700 KB | Vanity Fair 43 / 18.10.07 > PDF 450 KB