Online catalogue / Valentin Hitz :

Sailor´s Funeral
AT / 1995
19 min.

A rubbish dump, somewhere on the edge of town: two people rummage around in the dirty containers for something valuable, without the pressure of time or any great ambition. Whatever they find, it brings little money; where they go depends completely on caprice-scenes from the lives of two drifters, homeless people who try to hold themselves above water with improvised gambling games, hard drugs and vague hopes of the next day (which will, again, only bring small amounts of cash). Photographs from another life, from another world surface like a wicked commentary: one of the heroes carries the face of Alain Delon (from Melville´s film Le samouraï) around, while the other finds old pin-up postcards in the rubbish. With what happens in the film - the fights in the dirty pissoirs, the depressing chance confrontation with death - has nothing in common with these photos. The glamour and the Hollywood star stylisation are only beautiful utopias, the last, fast escapism when trust in the world fails.

Valentin Hitz, director and author of this short film about homelessness, trusts in a realism where the cinematic story does not (inevitably) explain everything, where things remain temporary and the world is not hermetically sealed off. No long moralising, no plea for or against something. Instead of that, one is allowed to look on reality and into the faces of people one wants to believe again. At the end is a small ritual in the cold - a last cool comment on the fact that the fight against inhumanity takes place also in (or exactly because of) the apparently meaningless.

(Stefan Grissemann)

Sailor´s funeral is the journey of the fourteen year ols junkie Sebastian and the thirty years old Gips through the garbage cans of the suburbs. While garbage digging they find a thrown away baby. To honour the child´s death they leave the suburbs for the country side. There they celebrate the baby´s funeral.


A film by:
- Valentin Hitz

- Short fiction

original language:
- german

Available Prints:
- 16 mm
- 16 mm

price: 76 EUR


rental conditions

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