01-07-2011

Tabou - The Soul Is Stranger on Earth / Tabu - Es ist die Seele ein Fremdes auf Erden

Competition
Dir. Christoph Stark

“Do you think it’s a sin?” – asks Margareta (Grete) in pensiveness of her brother, an expressionist poet Georg Trakl, after they’ve just had a sexual intercourse in the background of picturesque falls. “I don’t know”, - answers the poet straightly. During the course of the film these two will present to public several prosaic bed scenes, made in a detailed format of soft porno.

However, according to Christoph Stark’s movie, short ecstatic encounters with his beloved one, didn’t bring relieve to the poor Trakl. His existence was poisoned by impossibility of full and complete confluence with his sister, whom he considered to be single body and soul. One day Grete offers her brother to run off to Australia together, where no one could disturb them in their forbidden love, but – tough luck! – Trakl can’t imagine his life without beautiful German language. The poet tries to redeem his frustration with huge doses of cocaine, which will finally drive him to his grave in 27 years old.

Trakl is convinced of miraculous force of sexual discontent by the artist Oskar Kokoschka, who is suffering from unhappy love for Mahler’s widow, Alma. Both Trakl and Kokoschka could’ve found it useful to get a consultation from another famous citizen of Vienna of those days - Sigmund Freud. But unfortunately, the famous psychoanalyst wasn’t pictured as the character of this tragic story.

By the fact, Trakl’s death is not reflected in the film, just like his heroic service in army during World War I of about his selfless work in Polish hospitals, where he, being tortured by depression, had to take care of dozens of badly wounded soldiers, all by himself. Having concealed the tragic end of Trakl’s life, the director ends his picture with the information about the suicide of poor Grete. Doesn’t it prove the fact that the complicated image of the “damned poet” (a bearer of the “mystery Austrian soul”) is not the main theme of Stark’s movie? Relationships of the relatives, which were, probably, much more complicated, are melodramatized and scandalized: theme of incest suddenly became very actual in this festival season…

Stas Tyrkin