Festival of Austrian Film
March 21–26, 2023, Graz

Austria: Forget it

Ever since the first Diagonale, historical special programs have built a framework for the film competition. Currently, such programs are granted ever more urgency, as they refer to the backside of cinema digitizing: to the relationship of contemporary cinema to its history, marked by the disappearance of historical copies and the associated venues for playing them. In their questioning of our cinematic inheritance, the film-historical programs presented in the context of the Diagonale, allow more than simply a number of new (re-)discoveries. At issue is also always a shifting of perspective and therefore, an opening of new contexts with regard to the film medium and the past. And they are also about giving a young audience the chance to view in the cinema, rarely screened films that belong to Austria’s cultural inheritance.
Under the provocative title Austria: Forget it, the film historical special programs from the Austrian Film Museum, Filmarchiv Austria, and SYNEMA will work together for the first time, but with separate roles, approaching a a central phase of Austrian film and contemporary history: the Waldheim years. In doing so they will investigate not only the time around 1986, but also the question of the extent to which (Austrian) film promotes the culture of forgetting and suppression, or instead, provides opposition and protests to it.
The three series will be supplemented with a find from the ORF Archive, a work-in-progress by the filmmaker Ruth Beckermann, and two international films in the new program area In Reference.