THEATRICAL RELEASE AUSTRIA – September 11th 2015
The feature documentary LIKE THE OTHERS depicts the daily work at a child and adolescent psychiatric centre near Vienna, showing the perpetual balancing act between gentle caution and pressure, routine and improvisation. Succinct observations in the tradition of Direct Cinema lead to the touching and unsettling questioning of an institution and its function in society: How can the clinic help the hospitalised children and adolescents in a short time, before they return to their everyday lives?
The feature documentary LIKE THE OTHERS offers a precise observation in reply to the vague fears about psychiatric centres. Constantin Wulff accompanied the daily routines of the child and adolescent psychiatric centre at the district hospital in Tulln for one and a half years. His unsentimental, yet empathic film shows the institutional work as a permanent balancing act: between gentle caution and pressure, routine and emotional involvement, regulations and improvisation. Just like the viewers, the staff members can only accompany the children and adolescents for a short while, before they return to their everyday lives.
Filmed in the tradition of Direct Cinema, LIKE THE OTHERS foregoes interviews and voice-over, and focuses instead fully on the social situations emerging from the therapy sessions and diagnosis decisions, therapeutic exercises and team meetings. The doctors’ insights are based on interactions on various levels, sometimes even gained in drama-like settings: drawings are interpreted through story-telling, emotional states are revealed by arranging objects, scenes from the everyday life are re-enacted with play figurines. The interactions and insightful dynamics of every single encounter are emphasised by Johannes Hammel’s skilfully mobile camera, whether it is when a little boy who is acting out in the hospital’s school is persuaded to do his schoolwork or when a teenage girl whose arms are full of cutting scars is discussing the efficiency of her self-control measures with the senior physician.
LIKE THE OTHERS never leaves the confines of the Tulln district hospital, and yet the outside world is permanently present – as if always defying the work of the physicians, therapists, educators and nurses in the clinic. In the ward meetings, not only diagnoses are discussed, but time and again also strategies of how to provide long-term and caring protection for children at risk of being physically and sexually abused. The shortcomings of healthcare policy, particularly the shortage of medical specialists in the child and adolescent psychiatric ward are fiercely discussed, especially when the chief physician is forced by his team to answer to this issue in an emotionally charged key scene of the film.
Dieter Pichler’s skilful editing creates thematic contexts that go beyond the individual narrative lines and gives the protagonists more depths and dramatic appeal, without submitting to sentimentalities. Like in his award-winning study of a gynaecological clinic, INTO THE WORLD (2008), in LIKE THE OTHERS Constantin Wulff once again combines his observations to create a complex investigation of an institution and its function in society: How much help can the clinic provide? And how much pressure does this help exert on the patients to become like the others? To what extent is child and adolescent psychiatry in a position to improve lives? And how far can or must it reach beyond the individual patient? The closing scenes of the film leave the viewers with unsettling questions, but not with a sense of resignation, nor with fake relief.
Constantin Wulff was born in 1962 in Hamburg, Germany. He grew up in Switzerland, and later moved to Austria. He studied at the Filmakademie Wien and has worked as a journalist and filmmaker. Between 1995 and 1996 he gave lectures at the University of Vienna. From 1997 to 2003 he was co-‐director of the Diagonale – Festival of Austrian Film in Graz. He was a founding member of Navigator Film Vienna.
Since 2003 he has kept a position as a board member of dok.at, the Austrian Documentary Film Association. Wulff has been working as a curator of numerous retrospectives of documentary films and advisor to international documentary Film Festivals. He´s also part of expert commissions in the field of film subsidies. As a journalist he co-edited publications “Schreiben Bilder Sprechen– Texte zum essayistischen Film” (1991) and “Marcel Ophüls: Widerreden und andere Liebeserklärungen – Texte zu Kino und Politik” (1997). Wulff lives and works in Vienna.
Ulrich Seidl – a director at work
(documentary 52’, A/CH/D 2014)
Zürich Film Festival 2014, DOK Leipzig 2014, IDFA 2014
The Great Museum
(Co-Author / documentary 94’, A 2014)
Berlinale Caligari Award 2014; Diagonale best camera & best editing Award 2014; Filaf d’argent Perpignan 2014
Into the world
(documentary 88’, A 2008)
3sat-documentary Award 2008; Diagonale best film Award 2008/2009; Duisburger Filmwoche
Heldenplatz, 19. Februar 2000
(documentary 60’, A 2002)
(short, A 1999)
Promenade to Syracuse
(Co-director / documentary 65’, A/D/CH 1993)
AUTHOR & DIRECTOR Constantin Wulff
CINEMATOGRAPHY Johannes Hammel
EDITING Dieter Pichler
SOUND Claus Benischke, Andreas Hamza, Klaus Kellermann
SCRIPT CONSULTANT Johannes Holzhausen
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Vanessa Gräfingholt, Angelika Prawda
SOUND EDITING Andreas Hamza
SOUND MIXING Thomas Pötz
COLOR CORRECTION Kurt Hennrich
POST-PRODUCTION Paul Schön
PR & WEB Elsa Kremser
PRODUCTION OFFICE Ursula Stahrmüller
PRODUCTION ACCOUNTANCE Katharina Mosser, Monika Lendl
PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT Peter Janecek
PRODUCER Johannes Rosenberger
ARTWORK Gijs Kuijper
WEB DEVELOPMENT Helmut Heiland
WEB DESIGN Petra Hennrich
Shot in the child and adolescent psychiatry ward of the lower austrian state hospital Tulln
PRODUCED WITH THE SUPPORT OF Austrian Film Institute, ORF (Film/Television-Agreement ), Film Location Austria, Land Niederösterreich