Hands up to Heaven

Hands Up to Heaven

A gondola shadow glides leisurely over treetops and forest ground. An Austrian couple and a German couple sit inside, pressed tightly together. They engage in conversation but don´t have much in common; either culturally or geographically. All they share is attendance at the annual fan event—concert plus mountain-top mass in the Kitzbühel Alps—by Austrian hit-music star Hansi Hinterseer.

Putzer and van Baaren observe this pilgrimage up-close, and yet from a distance, attempting to follow the movement (in both senses of the word), to grasp the feeling that fosters a sense of community, and also the allure of Hinterseer, who seems to unite young and old in his fan community. The idyll of homeland and an affinity with nature, religiosity including a promise of salvation, somehow reminiscent of wellness-light, provide the basic frame in which the staging`s symbolism is mounted. The claustrophobic element, the narrowness of this ideological framework, becomes apparent in camera takes with narrow frames and images of ant-like masses populating the bared mountain slopes, cleared for winter sports.

As Gilles Deleuze says of the continuum of image and sound in Hors-champ, `The audible lends a specific presence to that which is insufficient, visually´. This documentary miniature, too, proves the power of the acousmatic, approaching the climax of the pilgrimage primarily through the soundtrack: conversations, sounds, music, and voices, from both `on´ screen and `off´ that convey the anticipation of a vision. An initial speaker builds suspense, and then he is there, `Hansi´, and only very briefly in the picture. His voice, however, remains present, and in the concluding sermon by the military preacher, which likewise comes from off-camera, it becomes clear that in this staging, ultimately, only one person can be the star. (Claudia Slanar)
Translation: Lisa Rosenblatt

Under a cloudless sky, Hansi Hinterseer hosts a communal mountain fair in the alpine idyll of Kitzbühel. Observing – without judgment – the camera follows along amidst the throng of fans, waiting patiently for the revered skiing and entertainment legend to appear. Eventually Hansi does emerge, and proceeds to sing, pray and bring people together. This is a film about a movement, of both the body and the mind.

Orig. Title
Hände zum Himmel
18 min
Orig. Language
Ulrike Putzer, Matthias van Baaren
Matthias van Baaren, Ulrike Putzer
Ulrike Putzer, Matthias van Baaren
Matthias van Baaren, Ulrike Putzer
Matthias van Baaren, Ulrike Putzer
Matthias von Baaren Filmproduktion
Supported by
F&MA, Gebhardt Productions, Golden Girls Filmproduktion
Available Formats
DCP 2K flat
Aspect Ratio
Sound Format
Dolby 5.1.
Frame Rate
25 fps
Color Format
Festivals (Selection)
Graz - Diagonale, Festival des österreichischen Films
Oberhausen - Int. Kurzfilmtage
Winterthur - Kurzfilmtage
Kassel - Dokumentarfilm- & Videofest
Wiesbaden - exground on screen
Nijmegen - Go Short Film Festival
Hamburg - Int. Kurzfilm-Festival & No Budget
Ljubljana LIFFE– Int. Film Festival