Online catalogue / Bernadette Weigel :

Fair Wind - Notes of a Traveller
Fahrtwind - Aufzeichnungen einer Reisenden
AT / 2013
82 min.

The two feet playing in bathwater at the beginning are the leitmotif for this journey across the land. They want fair wind and the sea! So the traveler sets off, with the Danube taking her and her barge to Bulgaria first, then she continues on with various forms of transport through Romania, Ukraine and Georgia, Azerbaijan and finally Kazakhstan. At the end of her journey she returns to Vienna, her foot in a cast but unbroken, as if her feet had to be calmed before the journey can truly come to an end.
This is a road movie in which the eyes (the camera) cannot get their fill of being on the road, of the many different images whirring by, of the almost reverential impressions left by breathtaking landscapes, the hustle and bustle of street life, and most importantly, the different kinds of movement, emotions and expressions in the faces of the people.
The soundtrack goes on a journey its own, with a subtle montage of ambient sound, voices and a cappella singing — none of which matches lip movements. A silent film you can listen to, a movie with sounds and images that seem to operate independently of one another. The film has an effect thanks to what it, atypically for the genre, fails to provide, lively, light as a feather and permeated by air and atmosphere. It works without interviews, historical or current information, statistics or critical social commentary.
The journey takes us over mountains and seas, through big cities and deserts, to a cloister and a Roma village, past dancers in Odessa and men snoring in a boat’s cabin, to see the hard everyday work performed in a Caucasian mountain village, into the world of the rich and to the homes of the poor, finally coming to a forced rest in a Kazakhstan apartment. A colorful mosaic of lust for life, curiosity and trust in the knowledge that everything that happens is welcome.
(Birgit Flos)
Translation: Steve Wilder

I decided to travel without destination. To go east without knowing where I would be the next day. Fair Wind is about falling in love with the world at first sight.
It is obvious that every moment only exists for that one moment, but this is what I realized on my way to Kazakhstan each time I recorded images and sounds. You can be the most perceptive observer and still miss most of these moments. There is nothing spectacular implied, but each of these moments is unique. It is like running around with a butterfly net. 24 frames of random light per second are burned into the film stock’s memory
When working with super 8, one can hear the passage of time. The camera rattles away right next to your ear. And since every meter costs a fortune, you have to trust in your intuition when pressing the button. I enjoy this part of filmmaking, because it is like playing.
Images, sounds, associations, atmospheres, sensuality and rhythm - they dance together to tell stories. My choice of a narrative using a minimum of text and voice-over is an invitation to the audience to make their own experiences and embark on their own journeys.
(Bernadette Weigel)

Travelling the post-Communist world: With each shot, we seem to see as much light as can be packed into a Super-8 frame. Rather than a painful brightness, the effect is that of contented saturation, visual plenitude. There is no program, simply the succession of frames, highlighting the texture and the squareness of the image, making possible a kind of explosion of reality in movement, color, industrial forms and forms of ritual. The brilliance of the soundtrack is a vital resource in the game Weigel´s film plays: a game between openness and closure, between the "open" of a voyage without a destination and the "closed" of a frame that is never going to run out of ways to fill itself.
(Chris Fujiwara / is the Artistic Director of Edinburgh International Film Festival and the author of books on Jerry Lewis, Otto Preminger, and Jacques Tourneur.)

Trailer online

A film by:
- Bernadette Weigel

- Essay

original language:
- german

Available Prints:
- Blu-ray
- DCP 2K

price: 300 EUR


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more on Austrian Independent Film & Video Database:
- Credits
- Festival placements
- Texte und Bilder
- Biographie: Bernadette Weigel

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