Die Wahlkämpfer

The Election Campaigners

Documentary | 1993

The controversial right-wing Austrian politician Jörg Haider and his aides tour the country, always ready to turn discontent and anxiety about social and economic problems into votes. They have a dynamic attitude, as if winning was already second nature: their slogans are bold and their scapegoating explicit. Immigrants are held responsible for crime, unemployment and abuse of the social system – there are too many immigrants in this country, they say. And the other political parties are blamed for corruption and economic crises. People who follow Haider’s lead do so for different reasons.
THE ELECTION CAMPAIGNERS gives some of these people the opportunity to speak: socially disadvantaged and underprivileged people looking for someone to blame for their misery, people living on minimum pensions who are afraid of losing the little benefits they have, old Nazis longing for the bygone days of the Third Reich, young right-wing extremists dreaming of dying for their fatherland, careerists struggling their way up the ladder, and insignificant party officials who feel important for the first time in their lives. This film tries to analyse the phenomenon of the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ). The party’s great success is generally regarded as a result of its leader’s demonic charisma. But this film doesn’t focus on Jörg Haider. Instead it gives a face to the people who make Haider’s election victories possible, taking a clear stance, yet refraining from commentary or judgement. It is up to the viewers to draw their own conclusions.

Director: Helmut Grasser
Script: Hubert Canaval
Helmut Grasser
D.O.P.: Peter Zeitlinger
Othmar Schmiderer
Sound: Reinhold Kaiser
Editing: Hubert Canaval (Version 2000: Helmut Grasser)
Producer: Helmut Grasser
Production Company: Allegro Film
Protagonists: Jörg Haider
Heide Schmidt
Christian Schneider
Herbert Schürz
Peter Westenthaler
Franz Berger
Peter Schönerklee u.a.
Technical data: 118 min. (Version 2000: 98 min.) / Color / German / S- 16 / 35mm, 1:1,66 / Stereo
Festivals: International Hofer Filmtage 1993
Viennale 1993
Max Ophüls Preis/Saarbrücken 1994
Days of the Independent Films/Osnabrück 1994
Cinéma du Réel/Paris 1994
Prix Europa (non fiction category) 1995
NAT Film Festival Copenhagen 2000, Version 2000
Cinema du Réel Paris 2000, Version 2000
Biennale/Venedig 2000, Version 2000
Amsterdam IDFA 2000, Version 2000
Alpe Adria Film Festival Triest 2000, Version 2000
One World Film Festival/Prag 2000, Version 2000 a.o.
Awards: Prix Europa 1995 - Best TV Movie of the Year
Funds: BMUKK Innovative Film Austria



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