"The best film ever about me." (Christoph Schlingensief)
A container house installed right in front of the Vienna Opera House. On the roof of the container a huge banner: "Foreigners Out!" Inside: 12 asylum-seekers are living in the container, observed by the passers-by through window-slots offering an insight into the daily-life of the foreigners. Each day of the week-long installation one of the foreigners is selected by the audience for immediate deportation to his or her home country. The last asylum-seeker remaining in the container wins the top prize: a permit of residence in Austria.
This installation by polarizing German film and theatre artist Christoph Schlingensief (1960-
2010) stirred up the public in Austria, as well as the media worldwide. As long as the installation was happening, more and more people continued to gather in front of Schlingensief's container - forming a mass of hundreds and thousands of Viennese citizens. War veterans made crude speeches, African immigrants claimed their rights to stay in Austria, and an elderly lady even physically attacked Schlingensief. Vienna seemed to catch alight.
With this provoking work Schlingensief addressed the Austrian public, who had just seen a heavy swing to the right as the ultra-right party FPÖ became a part of the government. Schlingensief's installation made the mental and political climate in Austria painfully visible.
With "Foreigners Out!" Schlingensief set a remarkable example for what "political theatre" can mean in the twenty-first century. Without any preset message and without trying at all to resolve its contradictions, he managed to create situations where what was hidden inside people was brought to the surface
At the screening there will be commentary from Professor Hans-Thies Lehmann, author of "Postdramatic Theatre" and one of the foremost theatre theorists in the German-speaking world.
Germany / 2002 / Colour / 90 minutes / German, with Japanese subtitles
Date: Nov 1 (Tue), 2011 19:00
Venue: Goethe-Institut Tokyo
Commentary: Hans-Thies Lehmann