how we live - messages to the family

a film by Gustav Deutsch

EXPERIMENTAL FILM | 2017 | A | 107 min

  • General
  • Cast&Crew
  • About the film
  • Festivals & Prizes
  • Downloads

HOW WE LIVE is a reflection about a film genre that presupposes seeing with one's own eyes (autopsy) – the home movie. The term home movie, taken literally, means films that deal with the home, the house, the apartment, a person's own surroundings. However, not the habitual but rather a new one, elsewhere, in a foreign country. Hence these are cinematic images made by people of their lives far from their homes for their family and friends at home – and beyond, and vice versa. From the early days of cinematography to the present. 

a cinematic autopsy

Director: Gustav DeutschEditing: Gustav DeutschMusic: Christian Fennesz
Production: Gabriele Kranzelbinder
"Imagine we are sitting at home, the screen is set up, the projector ready, and we start watching home movies together," suggests the calm voice of the filmmaker Gustav Deutsch at the beginning of how we live. The film assumes this same calm as it undertakes its journey via amateur film recordings gathered from archives in Austria, Italy, Holland and England, "traveling" from Boston to Italy, from the USA to Austria´s Burgenland, from Maryland to Greece, between Vienna, Sydney and Switzerland. The film employs a broad media-archeological array in a form of letter writing: from first color home movies to video and digital cell phone images and skype. The family recordings that structure the film are like moving postcards, telling of various lives and lifepaths from the 20th century. But they also speak to the medium of film as a tool of everyday life, to a function of bridging distances that came to make the "family of man" possible as a community, its biographies increasingly marked by migratory patterns. 
In Film is. (1-6), Deutsch proceeded with extreme poetic precision to tell an alternative history of cinema in the style of a picture atlas constituted by scientific films. The endeavor of how we live is comparable, however it utilizes the most private ephemera of film practice. This film feels entirely different because of its contemplative air which aptly corresponds to its subject matter. You can lean back and enjoy this journey completely relaxed, trusting the storyteller, just watching the life of the other unfolding before your eyes in real time while catching correspondences and analyses hidden in every moment that touch on depths not superficially treated but highlighted between the images – in their relation to one another. The material that Deutsch has gathered is recurringly interwoven by the trip of Moroccan Mostafa Tabbou from his new home in Holland to Morocco, a journey undertaken by Gustav Deutsch with his wife Hanna Schimek and which itself becomes a home movie. And so the film produces a community not only between various people from various places, but also establishes a timeless togetherness, allowing generations of filmmakers to speak to one another and via the medium of the movie screen, to us.
(Alejandro Bachmann)

Montréal 17 - Festival du nouveau cinéma (CA) 2017
Mar del Plata 2017 - Int. Film Fest - INCAA (AR) 2017
Milano 2017 - Filmmaker Festival (IT) 2017
Diagonale 2018 - Festival des (AT) 2018 österreichischen Films
Seoul 18 - Jeonju International Film Festival (KR) 2018
Kinostart 5.4. 2018 Metro Kinokulturhaus    
Retrospektive  5.4. - 15.4. 2018  Filmarchiv Austria    
Masterclass  8.4.2018  Filmmuseum Wien 

(Right-click and "Save As...")