F.A.Q. - Frequently Asked Questions

F.A.Q. is a film about the fate of the Slovene language in Austria’s state of Carinthia, and therefore about the fate of the country’s Slovene minority. Its extraordinary aspect is the easy-going, confident and humorous way in which the topic is examined. The film begins with an absurd story in an animated sequence: By mistake director Hafner receives a package Claudia Haider, the wife of Carinthia’s right-wing governor, sent to her daughter. And the film is repeatedly compressed into absurd scenes, in this way maintaining an amused distance to the theme without betraying anything or playing down the seriousness of all the misery, the implicit crimes and the scandalous political positions involved. On the contrary. Wit and a lighthearted tone sharpen the viewer’s gaze anew for an issue he or she presumes to be quite familiar with. Proceeding from various attitudes toward mother tongues, within the family and in Hafner’s hometown of Feistritz im Rosental, F.A.Q. presents a complex portrait of the Carinthians’ view of the Slovene language, especially that of young ethnic Slovenes, followed by surprising looks at the possible future. Binder / Hafner mostly have people speak, make comments or explain while surrounded by their countryside or at work. And when doing so they find images that open up abysses in their humorousness. Such as when a man stands in a meadow, indicating where various pieces of furniture stood in his house, which is now gone. At the same time he moves away from the camera until he can no longer be heard, only his gesticulations are visible in the distance: a stark image of loss and solitude. Binder / Hafner also provide their own commentary by means of images, refreshing ones that make new aspects visible and get to the heart of absurdities. After constant talk of the border which must be defended, a hand searches the grass in vain, trying to find the blade marking this border. A new generation’s fresh and surprising view of an old topic.
(Gustav Ernst)
Translation: Steve Wilder

Orig. Title
F.A.Q. - Frequently Asked Questions
Year
2005
Countries
Austria, Slovenia
Duration
85 min
Category
Documentary
Orig. Language
german, slovenian
Subtitles
english
Credits
Director
Alexander Binder, Stefan Hafner
Script
Stefan Hafner
Music
Bottervogel, Blixa Bargeld
Editing
Karin Hammer
Production
AB-Filmproduktion
Production Manager
Elke Kratzer
Supported by
BKA. Kunst, Land Oberösterreich, Kärnten Land
Available Formats
Betacam SP (Distribution Copy)
Aspect Ratio
1:1,33
Sound Format
stereo
Frame Rate
25 fps
Festivals (Selection)
2005
Graz - Diagonale, Festival des österreichischen Films
Maribor – DokMa Int. Documentary Film Festival
Ljubljana LIFFE– Int. Film Festival