Forst is a portrayal. The documentary tells about a forest in the middle of Europe far from the urban world and from civilisation which is home to a peculiar community of the banished. It is a world for the stranded. A diffuse system that still has total control makes sure that this world doesn´t show itself, that it doesn´t pop up in our reality and become a disturbance. In Forst the banished proclaim their own truth and tell the story of their empowerment. They slowly recall their identity as political refugees and start to make plans for their escape...

Forst is disturbing and leaves open hundreds of questions: it is ambiguous-dubious, mythic-monolithic, obscure and anti-enlightening… Forst doesn´t seem to want to negotiate or discuss; it is neither self-reflexive nor self-critical.The spectator won´t find indications of authenticity, but is left with an un-pleasant feeling
of helplessness and the urge to contradict… There is something in the film that provokes doubt – about the monumental truth the film suggests on the one hand, and about the truth the specator claims for himself or herself on the other hand. In the worst case Forst compels the spectator into an indignant position of defense, in the best case it initiates productive self-doubt…

Forst is an un-documentary – and thereby an utopia: Forst documents a struggle at a hardened front, the struggle for reality. The view of the narrators stands facing the one of the spectator provokingly, bravingly and overbearingly….
(Amon Brandt / Translation: Barbara Zorman)

Forst-Reader - Texts about the Film (PDF)

More Texts

Diagonale-Preis der Diozöse Graz Sekau: Begründung der Jury Diagonale-Award of the Jury of Graz Sekau: Jury-argument (Award)

"Die Jury spricht den Preis [...] einem Film zu, der in Bild und Ton durch eine Sprache fern der Konvention hervorsticht. Er findet eine radikale Ästhetik und artikuliert in seiner filmischen Abstraktion ein scharfes politisches Statement für eine couragierte Flüchtlingsinitiative. [...] Ohne Gesichter zur Schau zu stellen, lässt er auf subtile Weise Einzelschicksale zu Wort kommen und beschreibt einen Zustand, der irritiert zurücklässt. [...]"

"The jury awards the prize to a film, which with a language of pictures and sound, stands out as unconventional. The film reflects radical aesthetics and through its cinematic abstraction - makes a strong political statement in support of a courageous refugee initiative. [...] Without showing any faces, the film subtly presents individual destinies and describes a situation that leaves one feeling irritated. [...]”

Jury der Dözese Graz-Seckau: Alfred Jokesch, Jana Marsik, Peter Willnauer
Orig. Title
Austria, Germany
50 min
Orig. Language
Forst (Image)
Forst (Image)
Forst (Image)
Ascan Breuer, Ursula Hansbauer, Wolfgang Konrad
Andreas Berger
Julia Lazarus, wr, Philipp Haupt, Ben Pointeker
Supported by
SKE Fonds, Kultur Tirol, Wien Kultur, Niederösterreich Kultur, BKA. Kunst
Available Formats
Digital File (prores, h264) (Distribution Copy)
Festivals (Selection)
Graz - Diagonale, Festival des österreichischen Films (Preis der Diozöse Graz Seckau)
Kassel - Dokumentarfilm- & Videofest
Rotterdam - Int. Filmfestival
Berlin - Globale
Cork - Int. Film Festival
Brest - Festival du Film Court