I AM HERE!



AT 2023
Colour, 70 min., 16mm, 4:3, Stereo, German, subtitles in English
WP Rotterdam IFF

Directed and written by
Ludwig Wüst Produced by Maja Savic Cinematographer Klemens Koscher Sound Johannes Schmelzer-Ziringer Sound Design Josef Umschaid Editor Samuel Käppeli

With Markus Schramm, Martina Spitzer

Supported by BKA - Innovative film, Stadt Wien MA7

Synopsis

I AM HERE! begins in the middle of a forest, where a man and a woman, both about 50, meet to search for a place where they buried something a very long time ago. The two have not seen each other for many years. As they once did as children, they search for a secret and lose their way. A deeply buried trauma comes to light.

Director’s und Producer’s statement

I AM HERE! tells the story of a man, who is suffering from a traumatic experience. His life turned out to be an endless odyssee. Finally, he can accept his rootless existence in departing to another country, hoping to find a new home there. The story of this man brings us to a leading topic of humankind in our days. The cause for the present mass migration is in most cases due to traumatic experiences and to the hope of finding a new home somewhere else.

"Ludwig Wüst is a veritable phenomenon of Austrian cinema — an outsider who delivers at least one fiction feature per year, with little official support, often shot in a day or two after careful preparations. Most of his films are improvisation-based, with Wüst putting his actors into a clearly defined space with a rough trajectory for their movements as well as the story's development — leaving everything else to them. The method changes somewhat from film to film, but the spirit of restless experimentation remains. In I AM HERE!, Wüst gave 16mm and its limitations on shooting a try, resulting in one of his most beautiful and intense works. Little happens outside childhood friends Monika and Martin talking while walking through a forest towards a barren field and a car. Their talk is simultaneously incessant and halting as they circle a history of hurt from their younger days. In the harsh decisiveness of the editing, one feels the carpenter that Wüst is by training, bringing a sensibility that makes his films often look raw yet whole and polished at the same time. Finally, this maverick found his way to IFFR!"
Olaf Möller, IFF Rotterdam 2023