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Import Export (2007)

Ekateryna Rak , Lidiya Oleksandrivna Savka , Ulrich Seidl  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ekateryna Rak, Lidiya Oleksandrivna Savka, Oksana Ivanivna Sklyarenko, Dmytro Andriyovich Gachkov, Natalya Baranova
  • Directors: Ulrich Seidl
  • Writers: Ulrich Seidl, Veronika Franz
  • Producers: Ulrich Seidl, Lucki Stipetic, Maxim Asadchiy, Philippe Bober
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Tartan Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 26, 2010
  • Run Time: 141 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • ASIN: B002W1UIUW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #262,093 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Import Export" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

A nurse from the Ukraine searches for a better life in the West, while an unemployed security guard from Austria heads East for the same reason. Two individual fates, two opposite directions. Olga and Paul. Both are looking for work, a new beginning, an existence, life: Olga, who comes from the Eastern part of Europe, where unremitting poverty is the order of the day. Paul, who comes from the Western part, where unemployment means not hunger, but a crisis of meaning and sense of uselessness. Both are struggling to believe in themselves, to find a meaning in life. In both the West and East. Both travel to a new country, and thus into its depths. Import Export deals with sex and death, living and dying, winners and losers, power and helplessness.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Misery in the bleakness of Ukrainian winter January 28, 2010
I'm not sure why it took "Import / Export" three years to show up in North America, but at least it's here now. Seidl is probably most widely known for his film "Dog Days," which won him international acclaim, but also stirred some controversy due to its unflinching look at utter misery. Although he has done a couple of films since, they are more similar to his "documentary" style, as with his first film, "Models." "Import / Export" is something like a follow up to Dog Days - a purely narrative-based film examining, in gut-wrenching detail, the miserable lives of a collection of individuals.

Where Dog Days took place during the hottest days of summer, Import / Export is set in the frigid winter of the Ukraine and Austria. The story follows two main characters: a woman who leaves the Ukraine to find a better life in Austria, and a man who leaves Austria to escape debt and his failure to find a place in society. I don't want to say too much more because you really need to experience the film for yourself. You can be sure that Seidl is going to challenge your expectations, but I think we learn something about ourselves by how we experience this film. Some will become jade from the beginning (nothing can help these poor, sorry people), some will hold out hope for improvement longer than they would expect - when you understand that a director doesn't necessarily care about providing a happy viewing experience, anything is possible.

One issue came up during the viewing: since a significant portion of the film's dialogue deals with the language barrier between German and Ukrainian, it puts the English-speaking viewer at a disadvantage. In a manner of speaking, it's all Greek to me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is the grass always greener on the other side? November 13, 2011
By Galina
One of the most depressing, unsettling and bleakest movies I have seen in a long time, 135 minutes long Import/Export 2007, written/directed by Ulrich Seidl is gloomy, dark, and disturbing film. It feels like a documentary, and the winter landscapes in both parts of Europe, Eastern (Ukraine) and Western (Vienna, Austria) look and feel equally un- inviting and mean. Who would think that beautiful out of the fairy tale Vienna could be shot so un-appealing but I guess the nursing places for the ill and old patients are not the most cheerful places anywhere in the world, and they only add to the overall feeling of pessimism, degradation, lack of hope or anything uplifting in the existence of two main characters who never met because their lives moved in the parallel directions, and every character they come across.

Ulrich Seidl excels in giving Import/Export feel of a documentary and in showing how advanced the humans are in corrupting and humiliating one another. I think this film takes a prize for the amount of the un- sexy, most unpleasant and longest X-rated scenes ever filmed. I guess if sex is not accompanied with love, desire or at least, lust, it is very boring and uncomfortable to watch and makes a viewer guilty for the degradation they are forced to watch and makes them want to stop or fast-forward these scenes as fast as possible. If that what Ulrich Seidle intentions were - he succeeded fully. Let me put it this way - Import/Export is a well-made move. It made me think of the serious matters - for instance, how high is the price of freedom to look for and to find a better life, to support yourself and your family, to be able to go to any country you chose and to succeed there. I did not see a single false note in any performance given mostly by the non- professionals. Import/Export achieves what it was set to do but I would never watch it again. I got the point(s) and I don't think that it is for multiple viewings.

3.5/5 (7/10)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another Excellent Offering....Ulrich Seidl... November 20, 2012
Ulrich Seidl has done it again! Not since Italian neorealism from the likes of De Sica and Pasolini, or the German newwave of the 70's: Schlöndorff, Herzog, Fassbinder, etc., have we been treated to such a realistic and actual representation of the human condition in its present state. In "Import Export" from 2007 and written and directed by Ulrich Seidl (co-written by Veronika Franz), we have such a film. Some of the reviewers here have complained about the bleakness of the story and characters. Oh really!! I'd like to know where they've been for the last twenty-odd years! Are they aware, that as a matter of fact, life is just like this, for many people around the world, including right here in the U.S. (just stick around for the coming financial meltdown, and see how bad things are going to get). I for one, will not fault the filmmaker, for having the courage to show reality and not meaningless 'escapist-entertainment'. The message of the story is really one of hope and redemption, examine it carefully. 'Olga' (wonderfully portrayed by newcomer Ekateryna Rak) makes a new life for herself in Vienna, and struggles to overcome displacement and prejudice. Even with her own uncertain future, she is able to show so much compassion and kindness towards the nursing home residents (where she ends-up working), who respond in kind. Her resolve, is demonstrated when she is physically attacked by the spiteful and envious nurse 'Maria'. 'Pauli' (Paul Hofmann) on the flip-side, represents a citizen of Vienna, that has not tasted the fruits of western-style success, and is on opposite poles to the aspirations and wishes of so many emigrants to the West. That's why he has nothing to lose, by venturing to the East and seeing the other side of life for himself. Read more ›
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