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Import Export (2007)

Ekateryna Rak , Lidiya Oleksandrivna Savka , Ulrich Seidl  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 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: Multiple Formats, 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: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: January 26, 2010
  • Run Time: 141 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 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: #70,269 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Import Export" on IMDb

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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

4.3 out of 5 stars
(7)
4.3 out of 5 stars
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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
Format:DVD
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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4 of 4 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
Format:DVD
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Post Soviet Blues August 24, 2014
Format:DVD
The title says it all : people as commodities in the new European landscape of invisible borders. It could have been called East, West as the flow of labour in the film is both from the Ukraine to Vienna and from Vienna to the Ukraine.Seidl's style of directing is bleak semi-documentary. He uses a mix of amateur actors and real people in real locations, some shooting of which may have been ethically dubious: showing a site of real internet porn and the actors performing in a way that is intrusive; secondly, shooting most of the last part of the film in a real geriatric ward in Vienna. A real housing estate in Slovakia is shown.

There are two parallel stories: Olga (Rak) who leaves behind her mother and young child in the Ukraine to seek out a better life in Vienna;and a headstrong young security guard Pauli (Hoffman) who is unemployed and on the run from loan sharks, leaves Vienna to accompany his step-father on a trip delivering gumball machines in Eastern Europe. However his lascivious step-father has other things like the humiliation of young Ukrainian prostitutes( again real) on his mind much to his step-son's disgust. His escape from this relationship is a sign of hope and independence though he is still unemployed. Olga too has to demean herself- abused by internet porn customers,also a young boy at the home in Vienna where she is an au pair; and has to take the inferior job of a cleaner on a geriatric ward when she is a qualified nurse.

Although the scenes on the ward are gruesomely voyeuristic, breach confidentiality, there is dignity and warmth and redemption in her dance with the dying man.
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