Halbe Welt [Half the World] (1993)

Halbe Welt
Director: Florian Flicker
Writer: Florian Flicker, Michael Sturminger
Cast: Rainer Egger, Dani Levy, Mercedes Echerer, Maria Schrader, Goran Rebic, Allen Browne, Michael KreihslMara Mattuschka, Karl Markovics
Part of: Viennale

The sun has turned deadly, so life in the remaining megacities on earth now happens at night, where the sale of postcards showing sunny spaces without the threat of death is booming. Katz (Dani Levy) takes full advantage of that – dealing with everything that people might need, in particular every reproduction of nature he can get his hands on that is not owned by the “Whites” who sell it to the rich. Herzog (Rainer Egger) on the other hand didn’t manage to adapt to the new situation as well as Katz – he misses the sun and every day at dawn, he tries to stand outside as long as possible. And Sunny (Maria Schrader) sees all of them in her bar where the different spheres come together.

Halbe Welt is a very weird film. I’d understand if it was too weird for somebody, but I really enjoyed it.


Often with Science Fiction films (or books), it feels like we always get the same vision – and it’s usually a very US-American vision. With Halbe Welt that wasn’t the case at all. Some influences were there and visible, but it felt entirely original. Flicker created a vibrant world that felt well fleshed out, even if we don’t get much explanation for it. It was also a surprisingly racially diverse world for an Austrian film.

The sun sickness and its symptoms was also pretty cool and unlike everything I’ve ever seen before – especially in the way it changed the voices of people. I really loved that. And I loved the trades Katz made – up to and including the trading of the baby in the film. It generally showed an interesting (and as I like to think rather Austrian) way of clothing serious issues in (dark) humor – so you can laugh about it and then spend a long while pondering the joke.

*** Local Caption *** Halbe Welt, , Florian Flicker, A, 1993, V'14, Spielfilme

It was obvious that the film didn’t have a big budget, but the make-shift feel of the film fit the make-shift lives of its protagonists, scrambling by with whatever they can find, even if the result isn’t always perfect or seamless. I don’t think it would have worked any other way.

Before the film they showed a couple of short films by Flicker that I really enjoyed as well – they had a wicked sense of humor. Other than that though it was the first film of Flicker’s I saw – they showed he because he died not that long before the festival, unfortunately -, but it definitely won’t be the last.

halbewelt2Summarizing: I loved it.

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