Online catalogue / Gerald Igor Hauzenberger :

Last Shelter
Last Shelter
AT / 2016
103 min.

Afghani and Pakistani refugees occupy a church in Vienna to
protest against negative asylum decisions. A hunger strike, political activism and deportations split the group up. Solely a few are left.

A small group of young Afghans and Pakistanis occupy the Votive Church, the largest neo-Gothic church in Austria. After accelerated processing, their applications for asylum were turned down, though they had fled extremely dangerous conditions in their home countries, witnessing schools being burned down, beheadings by religious fanatics and murders of their relatives.
At freezing temperatures, these refugees protested for months, at times going on hunger strikes. In spite of wide public support, some were deported. Their protest took them from the country´s largest refugee center in Traiskirchen across Austria to the Hungarian border, where fences were being set up once again in 2015.
Gerald Igor Hauzenberger accompanied these refugees for three years to create a timeless film about the struggle for asylum and human dignity, an explosive document about complex social issues and the general strain produced by the search for adequate solutions. (production note)

In Last Shelter, visualizing discourses, processes and mechanisms relating to refugees and protest was important for me: How does a society react when refugees initiate a self-organized protest, occupy a church and progress from being petitioners to active participants in the political process? How do we react when refugees who have become confident activists occupy a church, during the Christmas holidays no less, thus taking a place in our consciences and social thinking? What kind of behavior is reasonable in an open society? Is civil disobedience no longer part of our value system?

A documentary that takes a look at social topics must get involved in contradictory discourses rather than serving up exclusionary or ideological worldviews. It should initiate comprehensive examination and discussion of a topic that lasts for several years and goes beyond clichés and superficial aspects. Areas of conflict and the dynamics of escalation must be made comprehensible without shying away from the humanistic questions of what individuals are worth, and how far they must go before receiving the right to stay.

(Gerald Igor Hauzenberger)

A film by:
- Gerald Igor Hauzenberger

- Documentary

original language:
- german/english

Available Prints:
- Blu-ray

price: 300,00 EUR


rental conditions

more on Austrian Independent Film & Video Database:
- Credits
- Festival placements
- Texte und Bilder
- Biographie: Gerald Igor Hauzenberger