Archive of films Normal Times / Normale Zeiten

2000, 85 min

Section: Documentary Films in Competition
Year: 2001


This documentary film confronts six middle-aged Viennese manual labourers with their country’s past over the last thirty years. People who in 1972 responded to a radio survey now meet in the studio to hear what they said into the microphone at that time about their wishes, dreams and hopes for the future. In the meantime they and their country embarked upon a journey characterised by the socialist ideals of the ruling SPÖ. The protagonists, who now have children of the age they themselves were during the early 1970s, look sceptically upon the years that passed which eventually rid them of most of their illusions. The visual commentary of the filmmaker complements the various testimonies with a colourful collage documenting the changing spirit of the times. Fragments of period newsreels, popular musical clips, television commercials, amateur shots and election propaganda songs create a story of social euphoria which was largely based on idealism and which – artificially cultivated from above – gradually came into conflict with reality.

About the director

Elisabeth Scharang (b. 1969, Bruck a. d. Mur) studied politology, sociology and philosophy in Vienna. She began working as a journalist and announcer for ORF radio and soon started making television documentaries and current affairs programmes. She won an award in 1992 for her publicist work Interesse der Jugend. She has been directing documentaries since 1996 focused on contemporary Austrian society and the modern history of the country. Filmography: the medium-length documentaries Das Dorf in der blauen Wüste (1996), Die Menschenmacher (1997), Die Tage der Kommune (1997), Kinder klagen an - Eltern von Gericht (1998), Schweigen und Erinnern (1998), Die Gesellschafthreporter (1999), Achtung, Kamera! (2000) and the feature-length documentary Normale Zeiten (2000).

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Documentary Films in Competition
Director: Elisabeth Scharang
Screenplay: Elisabeth Scharang
Dir. of Photography: Claus Muhr, Johannes Hammel
Music: Fritz Ostermayer
Editor: Michael Ranocha
Producer: Erich Lackner
Production: Lotus - Film GmbH
Cast: Grete Grossberger, Pepi Grossberger, Alexandra Pednarik, Walter Krotky

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