Wenn du wüsstest, wie schön es hier ist
Director: Andreas Prochaska
Writer: Stefan Hafner, Thomas Weingartner
Cast: Gerhard Liebmann, Simon Hatzl, Ines Honsel, Branko Samarovski, Philine Schmölzer, Michael Glantschnig
Seen on: 31.8.2015
After the death (under suspicious circumstances) of a local girl, police man Hannes Muck (Gerhard Liebmann) has his hands full. Especially when a detective from the state capital (Simon Hatzl) comes to the village to investigate. Muck doesn’t want to believe that one of his own village could be responsible, but he tries his best to clear things up, much to the outrage of the other villagers. Now Muck not only has to find a murderer, but he also has to try and not destroy his entire social network.
Wenn du wüsstest, wie schön es hier ist was produced for (Austrian) TV, which makes it rather remarkable how good it is: it can keep up perfectly well with most productions for the cinema (which is incidentally where I saw it).
The crime story the film tells is not bad, but it’s probably still the weakest part of the film (although I might only be saying that because I’m not a fan of crime stories in general). They try their hand at some twists towards the end and that feel a little overwrought, but overall it progresses nicely, if not unpredictably.
But the plot is more than made up for by the sensible and sensitive portrayal of village relationships. The way Muck basically becomes an outcast because he has to investigate, which all the villagers take as a breach of loyalty, feels completely true to probably anyone who ever lived in a small village. For me it was thrown in particularly sharp relief because the film also featured a foster home and the casual enimity that the villagers show the kids there. My parents ran a foster home in a small village for 20 years and believe me when I say, we heard it all. [Having said that, the foster home we got to see was entirely unrealistic: one single female caretaker and about 15 adolescent boys – that wouldn’t happen.]
Gerhard Liebmann does a wonderful job as Hannes Muck. He has such an expressive face and seemingly effortlessly shows Muck’s conflict of loyalty, his attempts of doing right by everyone. It was wonderful to watch. Not that the rest of the cast is bad – not at all – but he absolutely shines.
Add to that a good sense of pacing, nice editing and beautiful camera work (transforming the Carinthian woods into a place right out of a fairy tales and the local festivities into a perfect event), and you’ve got a film on your hand that may not revolutionize film, but that is perfectly good at what it does.