Josef Maier, born in 1930 in the Innviertel, a region of Austria close to the border with Germany, began working on farms when he was still a child. After many years as a labourer, he now lives in an old people's home. From there he wanders around the area. Almost every day he comes to a farm where he helps with the work, eats, drinks and tells stories. During several encounters throughout the seasons he gives us his views on the world.
Imperturbable, a solitary man, vaguely reminiscent of a Jacques Tati character, crosses landscapes, valleys and fields whose outlines look like they’ve been drawn with a ruler. His body weathered by time, labour, suffering and fights small and large, he avoids contact with the community. Words come to him in streams, punctuated by snatches and repetitions. His movements seem to betray a pervasive fear. The life he’s led has made him a shrewd observer and commentator of this world that doesn’t fool him, and his voice expresses an anxious soul fuelled by an instinctive sensation of its dangers, latent and out of sight but nonetheless very real. Whilst preserving his mysteriousness, with carefully composed shots and a delicate dosing of distance and closeness, movement and immobility, Leopold Lummerstorfer paints an extraordinary portrait of an extraordinary man who seems to be from a different era.
Born in 1968 in Gramastetten, Austria, Leopold Lummerstorfer is a film director, writer and producer. He studied ethnology and philosophy at the University of Vienna and as a young man worked in a wide variety of fields (journalism, property management, road building and social work). Since his first feature, "Rosa Heimat" ("My Country in Pink", 1990), he has written short and feature documentaries, dramas and series. His films usually highlight a social topic. His work has been screened and awarded prizes in several festivals in Austria and internationally in cities such as San Francisco, São Paulo, Saarbrücken, Istanbul and Paris.