Good News is a film about modern slaves and modern overseers, about small animals, small apartments, small people and small stories. About the insanity of normalcy in Austria. It portays newspaper vendors in their yellow and red uniforms: young men from India and Egypt, Pakistan and Turkey - Muslims from the third world who hawk newspapers on the streets of Vienna. Here the world of the newspaper vendors, there the world of the newspaper readers in their Austrian living rooms. Good News is Ulrich Seidl's first feature film, which he was finally able to make seven years after leaving the Vienna Film Academy. The screening of a rough cut of the film led to a fierce controversy, and it could never have been completed without the help of Werner Herzog. A single print of the film, shown in a single cinema, managed to draw 20,000 viewers. A sensation, especially for a documentary movie at the time. Werner Herzog still lists it on his documentary top ten.
Austria 1990 | 126 min | German | Super 16mm | 35mm blow up | 1:1.66
Director: Ulrich Seidl | Screenplay: Ulrich Seidl | Camera: Hans Selikovsky | Editor: Peter Zeitlinger | Sound: Ekkehart Baumung, Helmut Junker | Producer: Hans Selikovsky | Cast: Salah Abdel, Mustafa Muhammed, Kumar Saha Probil
Production company: Filmproduktion Mag. Hans Selikovsky | Gartengasse 15 | 2202 Enzersfeld, Austria
T +43 226 2673149
- Director's statement
"I wasn't interested in making a film to expose the machinations of a newspaper conglomerate, one intended solely to awaken viewers' compassion for the newspaper vendors, or one that deals only in terms of good and evil, but rather a film that, through the observation of foreign worlds, turns your gaze to your own daily life and its insanity." – Ulrich Seidl
"Rarely has anyone made with such rigor and with such aesthetic determination a film that shows the terrible regularity of daily life, the insanity of normalcy."
Werner Herzog, Der Standard
"A savagely precise, artistically skilled gaze that reveals the bleakness of all our days and nights, the sad lunacy of commonplace promises of a fulfilled life. No other film document can depict Vienna and the Viennese more revealingly, accurately, nightmarishly. But in the larger-than-life characterization, in the truthfulness that lurks under the surface, in the horror of its deathly sad meanness, Good News is reminiscent of the genius of Carl Merz and Helmut Qualtinger's one-man play, Der Herr Karl."
Ulrich Weinzierl, FAZ
"A magnificent work. Aesthetics as a moral strategy that allows both people and their environment to speak for themselves without a narration."
Wolfram Schütte, Frankfurter Rundschau
"Good News is a balancing act, in terms of the choice of locations and the faith in the power of the images. Explosive cinema that provokes passionate debate. What more could one ask for?"
Constantin Wulff, Der Standard
- Awards | Festivals
Vienna Film Prize
"Prix des Bibliothèques", Paris
World premiere: Locarno Film Festival 1990
Locarno IFF, Chicago IFF, Montréal, Hofer Filmtage, Festival dei Popoli Florence, Duisburger Filmwoche, Rotterdam IFF, Strasbourg IFF, Sydney FF, São Paulo IFF, Cinema du Réel/Paris
© Ulrich Seidl Filmproduktion