3 DAILY PURCHASES*
In 3 DAILY PURCHASES - How I tried to save the little shop in our community building by galvanising my neighbours and failed, as in some of her earlier films, Gabriele Mathes intertwines views of her private environment with larger (socio-)political contexts. In this case she has succeeded in creating an extraordinarily complex work that, when viewed from different angles, reveals its facets with agility and a smile.
First of all, there is the municipal housing block where the filmmaker lives, and where there is a delicatessen, the likes of which are to be found in only a few places in Vienna. She is determined to keep this shop in business, as it is also used as a meeting place for residents. She goes door to door collecting signatures, trying to commit local residents to a daily obligation to buy three products at the shop. Along the way, a loving portrait develops of the various characters who patronize the delicatessen of the likeable Fifi. The sense of belonging to the housing estate and its immigrant grocer is felt by everyone, regardless of whether they are “real” Viennese who have lived there for generations or have only recently arrived. Nobody believes in the specter of imminent closure; even the owner is quite satisfied with her customers. The way that the individual people express their solidarity and think about the possible need for any activism appears authentic and is interesting from a socio-political point of view. While right-wing opinion makers are regularly portraying this type of social housing as the breeding ground for a variety of socio-political problems, 3 DAILY PURCHASES offers evidence much to the contrary.
Mathes amusingly creates her own role as a compulsively concerned person who would feel more secure in influencing the consumer behavior of her neighbors. As a result of her conversations, her tone becomes more moderate, and in the end she finds that she can get only herself to agree to this commitment. (Brigitta Burger-Utzer)
Translation: John Wojtowicz
3 SACHEN KAUFEN - How I tried to save the little shop in our community building by galvanising my neighbours and failed
Documentary, Short film