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World Cinema
Presented by: Stella Artois
Still Life
Austria, 2011, 78 min., Color, German (with English subtitles)

When a young man named Bernhard finds a set of instructions in a letter to a prostitute—instructions written by his father—the life of his family is turned upside down.

STILL LIFE is the disturbing story of a family that doesn’t talk much, but who all feel the need to act in very expressive and destructive ways. The father is also an alcoholic, but he has a secret that he knows he should discuss with others but can’t. And once that secret is revealed to the family—including daughter Lydia, the unknowing catalyst of the family’s discord—actions are taken to affect repentance, forge a more natural familial trust…and, yes, to repress reality.

First-time director Sebastian Meise ends STILL LIFE with a sense of repression that is as powerful a comment about its central issue as can be manufactured in film. His work is not meant to satisfy; it is meant to reveal, then close, then leave it up to viewers to open it up again.

— Mike Daniel
Sebastian Meise
Thomas Reider
Oliver Neumann, Erich Lackner
Gerald Kerkletz
Julia Drack
Chris Baio
Production Design
George Dishner
Fritz Hörtenhuber, Daniela Golpaschin, Christoph Luser, Roswitha Soukup, Anja Plaschg

Director Bio

Born in 1976, Sebastian Meise studied Directing at the Vienna Film Academy. Prior to STILL LIFE, his first feature, he directed the shorts PRISES DE VUES (2003), presented at the Venice Film Festival, RANDOM (2005), and DAMONEN (2006). He is currently working on the post-production of his first documentary feature, OUTING.