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Different Trains East| 1hr : 52mins
Director: Ulrike Ramsauer, Christine Pramhas, Tommy Schneider, Bernhard Braunstein, Martin Hasenöhrl, Andreas Kraus & Orsolya Szöke | Producer: Karin Helml
Focus Years: 2005 | Country: Austria
Subject Tags: austria, culture, europe, politics
Quality Tags: Optimistic, Slow, Activating, Harmonizing
"Different Trains East". Four film journeys into "new Europe". In May 2004, eight former "Eastern Bloc" nations joined the EU. Studio West sent four film crews on journeys via train, bus, car and ferry to capture the hopes and expectations of travelers from these new EU-countries. Each of the reports proved challenging for the film-makers due to the restricted travel routes, whereupon they end with the arrival at their final destinations. "Vienna/South – Vilnius" was written and directed by Christine Pramhas and Ulrike Ramsauer (DVCam, 29 minutes). It is the journey from Vienna’s South Station to Vilnius, by train, taking twenty-two hours, i.e. one night and one day. The film crew accompanies a young Lithuanian on his way home to the new edge of Europe. His lack of orientation in the underground passages of the Warsaw train station can only be matched by the crew’s own confusion. Which way to Lithuania? "Munich – Budapest" was written and directed by Andreas Kraus and Orsolya Szöke (DVCam, 28 minutes). A bumpy ride from Munich to Budapest in a Telekocsi, or shuttle taxi. Along the way, a warehouse worker, a student, a dental assistant and the owner of the minibus tell us about their experiences as "new Europeans". Discussions about their expectations get quite heated in the almost private atmosphere of this shared taxi. "Liepaja – Riga – Dobele – Saldus" was written and directed by Bernhard Braunstein and Martin Hasenöhrl (DVCam, 25 minutes). Reflections on new Europe. Personal remarks and opinions regarding the term "Europe" guide us on our journey from Liepaja to Riga, via ferry, and further into provincial Latvia. On the return trip, the previous days are once again reflected upon, with responses getting more inconclusive the further inland we travel. Which aspects of a country can one portray? What stories can one tell? "Vienna – Kosice – Cierna" was written and directed by Tommy Schneider, with interviews by Ivan Stefanik (DVCam, 29 minutes). This film tries to capture the atmosphere in Slovakia half a year after its accession to the EU. More about this topic is learned from the opinions of Slovakian citizens, on a train ride that takes us from Vienna to Bratislava, Kosice, and finally, Cierna and Tisou, in the far east of the country. While the capital, Bratislava, has succeeded in building a connection to the West, the situation appears to be quite different eight hours east of Vienna.

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