Weapon of Choice (2018)

Weapon of Choice
Director: Fritz Ofner, Eva Hausberger
Writer: Fritz Ofner
Seen on: 17.1.2021

The film looks at the Austrian company Glock, the weapons it manufactures and how they quickly sold all over the world, especially in the USA, and also tries to shed some light on engineer and inventor Gaston Glock – the man behind the gun.

Weapon of Choice is a very well made documentary about Glock’s impact on the world – and that’s not necessarily a positive one, as you can imagine. But it is a lasting impact and one that still shapes many things today.

The film poster showing the title in big letters, white on red background with a black/shadowed hand grabbing for a gun.

If you had asked most Austrians a few years ago, a lot of them probably wouldn’t really have it on their radar that Glock is an Austrian company and most wouldn’t realize the extent of the weapon dealing that starts in Austria. With a couple of political scandals recently, both the company and the family have garnered more attention, and Weapon of Choice came out at just the right time to provide some context here.

And the context it draws is big indeed – it visits the factories in Austria (though never able to enter the facility itself), spends a lot of time in the USA where Glock is the police service weapon as well as a cult object among gangs and weapon aficionados, and then also heads to Iraq where Glock is also used for the police. Glock has become a global phenomenon indeed. And Ofner and Hausberger have a keen eye for the way the gun became a status object.

Two hands in violet plastic gloves showing off a handgun.

What made it so big is that Glock made guns better. That means it made guns cheaper to produce, easier to put together and less likely to fail. It’s a feat in engineering that means that the weapon is deadlier and easier to get ahold of. If you ask me, that’s not the kind of better that we should aspire to.

It’s a profitable business and Glock has an excellent business strategy – from limited editions to constant upgrades.The entire thing gave me the creeps. Especially when you hear that all that wealth is not taxed as it should be (of course) and when you know of the scandals (that came shortly after the documentary was finished) that implicates the Glock family in a political affair filled with pay-offs. It’s no wonder that there was no official statement from the family or the company made for the film. And I don’t need to hear from them, either. What you hear about them is damning enough.

Two gunsellers in their shop.

Summarizing: very interesting.

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