Austria | 2014 | 98 minutes | Sudabeh Mortezai

A sensitive and deeply humanist tone carries this portrait of a young boy in a refugee settlement in Vienna torn between childhood, adulthood, and the reality of his surroundings.

June 4, 2014
SIFF Cinema Uptown Festival  
8:30 PM Date has passed
June 5, 2014
SIFF Cinema Uptown Festival  
3:00 PM Date has passed
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Set in a refugee settlement in Vienna, Macondo tells the story of Ramasan, who after his father’s murder feels he must take his place as head of the family. A deeply humanist tone carries this portrait of a young boy torn between childhood, adulthood, and the reality of his surroundings. Eleven-year-old Ramasan lives with his younger sisters and his mother in Macondo, a tough, low-income ethnic housing project in Vienna’s industrial suburbs. His family is from Chechnya and after his father dies in the war, they go through the processes of emigration. Ramasan often acts as his mother’s interpreter in their new German-language surroundings. He delivers his rambunctious sisters to school and back, and when he can, hangs out with friends and gets in typical teenage trouble. But things change when a soldier friend of his deceased father shows up. In this assured feature debut, director Sudabeh Mortezai works in a documentary style with nonprofessional actors, finding a sensitive balance between improvisation and dramaturgy. She maintains the feeling of unease of a boy who’s an outsider, and on the cusp of becoming a man. German-born Mortezai was raised in Tehran and Vinenna. For Macondo, she was interested in a child's perspective on growing up between two cultures, which she reveals through images of masculinity and in themes of jealousy, honor, identity, and even hope.

Director Biography

Born in Ludwigsburg, Germany, in 1968, to Iranian parents, Mortezai grew up in Tehran and in Vienna where she studied theater, film, and media science. Between 2002 and 2003 she studied film at the University of California in Los Angeles where she made a number of short films and documentaries. In 2007 she co-founded FreibeuterFilm. Macondo is her debut feature film.

Sponsored by Antioch University Seattle

Director: Sudabeh Mortezai
Principal Cast: Ramasan Minkailov, Aslan Elbiev, Kheda Gazieva, Rosa Minkailova, Iman Nasuhanova
Premier Status: North American Premiere
Country: Austria
Year: 2014
Running Time: 98 minutes
Producer: Oliver Neumann, Sabine Moser
Screenplay: Subadeh Mortezai
Cinematographers: Klemens Hufnagl
Editors: Oliver Neumann
Website: Official Film Website
Filmography: Debut Feature Film
Language: German, Chechen
HasSubTitles: Yes
Format: DCP
International Sales: Films Boutique
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