The director first visited Transylvania seven years ago. In the 20th century this ‘country beyond the forest’ was the battleground of major political changes and displays of intolerance towards several of the population groups. In this ethnically mixed area, besides Hungarian, Romanian and German, marginal languages such as Saxon were also spoken.
Hauzenberger met Johann Schuff, an old man of Saxon origins and the very old Maria Huber, who belongs to the Landleri community. In 1918, their population groups still numbered 200,000 souls. Now there are 900 left. Both Schuff and Huber are very nationalistic and it was inconceivable for them to enter into a mixed marriage in their lifetime. Both are waiting for death. He wants to die on the rug in his garden and be eaten by wild animals. She has already survived five years beyond the date that was written, to her annoyance, on her gravestone. They think it has been enough. But this is where their joint history stops.
Hauzenberger visited both broken yet humorous old people for six years and sketched the turbulent history of their country from their tragic and idiosyncratic perspective. Slowly but surely, the memories of for instance the Waffen-SS and the Russian work camps are not only an unrelenting history lesson, but also a homage to human resilience. (PvH)

International title
Beyond the Forest
Filmmaker
Gerald Igor Hauzenberger
Country
Austria
Year
2007
Medium
Betacam Digi PAL
Length
75’
Language
German
Producer
Gerald Igor Hauzenberger
Production Company
Golden Girls Filmproduktion & Filmservices
Sales
Golden Girls Filmproduktion & Filmservices
Writer
Gerald Igor Hauzenberger
Cinematography
Dominik Spritzendorfer, Marco Zimprich
Editor
Michael Palm, Gerald Igor Hauzenberger
Sound Design
Dominik Spritzendorfer, Nina Slatosch, Martin Zinggl