Die Migrantigen [The Migrumpies] (2017)

Die Migrantigen
Director: Arman T. Riahi
Writer: Aleksandar Petrovic, Faris Rahoma, Arman T. Riahi
Cast: Aleksandar Petrovic, Faris Rahoma, Doris Schretzmayer, Zijah Sokolovic, Daniela Zacherl, Josef Hader, Mehmet Ali Salman, Julia Jelinek, Maddalena Hirschal, Margarete Tiesel, Dirk Stermann, Mahir Jahmal, Rainer Wöss, Brigitte Kren
Seen on: 5.7.2017
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Plot:
Benny (Faris Rahoma) and Marko (Aleksandar Petrovic) have been best friends for about forever and both find themselves struggling: Benny would like to make it as an actor, but has had no luck so far, mostly because he’s usually reduced to small roles due to his darker skin. And Marko’s ad agency just went bust – and his girlfriend Sophie (Daniela Zacherl) is expecting their first child. As they try to figure out what to do, an opportunity falls into their lap in the shape of Marlene (Doris Schretzmayer), a TV reporter looking to do a hot take on immigrants in Vienna. Just for the heck of it Benny and Marko – who actually do have migration roots – turn into Omar Sharif and Tito to give Marlene all the clichés about immigrants roled into a neat little package. But when Marlene returns with the offer to do an entire reality TV show about them, the two find themselves trapped in their performance and enticed by the money and acting break it would mean for them.

Die Migrantigen is an entertaining film that nails quite a few very problematic things about the discourse on migrants in Austria in a very revealing, yet light-hearted way. Sometimes it’s a little too easy and sometimes its ideas are better than the execution, but mostly, it’s very enjoyable.

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Planet Ottakring (2015)

Planet Ottakring [Note: Ottakring is one of the poorer districts in Vienna with a rather high immigrant population.]
Director: Michael Riebl
Writer: Mike Majzen
Cast: Michael Steinocher, Cornelia Gröschel, Sebastian Wendelin, Serkan Kaya, Sandra Cervik, Maddalena HirschalSusi Stach, Lukas Resetarits, Erika Deutinger, Christopher Schärf
Seen on: 19.8.2015

Plot:
After the death of his mentor Disko, who pretty much ran Ottakring, Sammy (Michael Steinocher) has to find Disko’s business papers. Otherwise Frau Jahn (Susi Stach) is threatening to take over Ottakring entirely with her loan shark business. At the same time German economics student Valerie (Cornelia Gröschel) comes to Vienna to write a paper on the economic and social structure of Ottakring. Valerie soon runs into Sammy and despite initial antagonism between the both of them, they realize that they might have more in common than they think.

Austrian movies usually shine with their bleak take on social realism. Quite contrary to that, Planet Ottakring was a sweet film that wins you over with its idealistic vision of how the world could be and its easy romance.

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