“Hinterland”: A thriller set in 1920s Vienna, expressionism and fantasy included


It's so beautiful ! Hinterland by Austrian filmmaker Stefan Ruzowitzky is more than an excellent thriller in which a veteran of the First World War investigates the brutal murders of his comrades in combat. It is a visually sumptuous work, a tribute to German Expressionism , which magnifies the Vienna of the 1920s.

The hero, played by the charismatic Murathan Muslu , teams up with a female medical examiner (Liv Lisa Fries) to unravel the secrets of a sadistic and inventive assassin. "This period was very tough for these soldiers returning from a brutal conflict to discover that, far from being welcomed as heroes, they were considered criminals in a country in crisis", explains Stefan Ruzowitzky to 20 Minutes . The former police officer, temporarily reinstated in his duties, pays the price for this suspicious behavior to the point that he fears returning to live with his family.

Like out of step : The pictorial style of the film, voluntarily artificial, corresponds to the state of mind of the hero who evolves in both familiar and fantastic settings as if he no longer had his place in the world where he must survive. "That's why I chose to shoot everything on a blue background and only add the city afterwards thanks to special effects", specifies the director. For the public too, the sordid side of the crimes is counterbalanced by the beauty of the images bringing a very successful shift to the story. “This pivotal period in the history of Austria has many points in common with the one we are living through,” insists Stefan Ruzowitzky. People are lost and in search of certainties that will lead them to extremes and to the Second World War a few years later. »

This threat hovers over Hinterland as over its hero, an upright man to whom the horrors experienced during the war have brought additional gravity. The director, Oscar winner in 2008 for Les Faussaires , delivers a film so original that we start dreaming of a sequel around the duo of investigators. “It is not excluded, he specifies. It would be interesting to make them evolve in other eras and other visual formats. The success of Hinterland makes us want this project to come to life as soon as possible.