Architecture and Society: Pretty Ugly

16.03.2023 // For the 14th time, CROSSING EUROPE in co-operation with the afo architekturforum oberösterreich presents the film series Architecture and Society, which examines social coexistence in the context of underlying architectural, geopolitical or ecological conditions. The program section is curated by Lotte Schreiber (filmmaker, artist) and this year, under the title Pretty Ugly, examines the multifaceted aspects of the hard-to-determine notion of beauty. In ancient times, beauty was determined by harmonious proportions, while in Modernism, aesthetics were always also a social criterion of innovative architecture. It strove to democratize not just housing itself but also beauty that should no longer remain a privilege for the rich. And what about today? How can the aspiration for harmony and social balance correlate with the capitalist ideals of profit maximization and unlimited growth? Against this backdrop, six documentary works take the audience on a journey throughout Europe, from southern Italy to Spitzbergen.
| Announcement of the first films from the Architecture and Society section |
  • TARA (DE/IT 2022), directed by: Volker Sattel, Francesca Bertin, 86 min. | Austrian premiere
The Tara is a small river on the outskirts of Taranto, a town founded 3000 years ago on the Italian shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The river’s waters are much appreciated by the locals, who credit them with magical healing powers. Starting from these idyllic images, the film takes us to a city and land that have been sacrificed in the name of progress. The steel plant just a few kilometres away has claimed many lives and created deep fractures within Taranto’s social fabric. Directors Volker Sattel and Francesca Bertin reject the dynamics of the investigation, instead adopting the form of an open conversation with the people who are struggling daily for the well-being of this territory and its people. (Rebecca De Pas, Visions du Réel)
  • NÁVŠTĚVNÍCI / THE VISITORS (CZ/NO/SK 2022), directed by: Veronika Lišková, 83 min. | Austrian premiere
A young anthropologist, Zdenka, moves with her husband and three sons to Svalbard, Norway, to study how life is changing in polar regions. She has received a prestigious two-year grant to carry out extensive research on the impact of globalisation on the inhabitants of the world‘s northernmost town, Longyearbyen. After falling in love with her new home, Zdenka discovers that more than icebergs and permafrost are vanishing in the Arctic. Through conducting interviews with residents, she begins to perceive how heterogeneous the small local community actually is, while also revealing tensions that lie beneath the surface. (IDFA)
The other films of the Architecture and Society section will be announced during the program press conference on April 13 and can be found online from April 14 on