limes: bioborder/park/spektakel

Empire is materializing before our very eyes. Over the past several decades, as colonial regimes were overthrown and precipitously after the Soviet barriers to the capitalist world market finally collapsed, we have witnessed an irresistible and irreversible globalization of economic and cultural exchanges. (...) Empire is the political subject that effectively regulates these global exchanges, the sovereign power that governs the world.
(Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri: Empire)

“The Seewinkel is the biological border between East and Central Europe. Many of the plant and animal species which can be found here do not live further to the west…”
(Horst Friedrich Mayer in Heimat, an ORF Austrian television program)

East of Lake Neusiedl, in the Seewinkel, the area of Austria between Lake Neusiedl and the Hungarian border, Austrian soldiers patrolling the border (“Action Limes”) and the NATIONALpark combine to create a unique spectacle. Local history, biology and the nearly identical sounds and images produced by border patrolmen and environmentalists conceal the global dimension behind the national ritual. “Nature” serves as seemingly innocent ideological raw material.
The construct is betrayed by its expiration date: In a few years, Fortress EUrope will push the imperial demarcation line further eastward. On both sides, the limes indicates not the local territory, but regions and populations thousands of kilometers to the east and south.

Tableaux of the countryside provide the visual raw material for an ethnographic examination of the border area. The idyllic integrity of the “open country” is deconstructed by means of an illustrated narrative. Sound and text return the stereotypical image to the context of the political reality. (wr)

Orig. Title
limes: bioborder/park/spektakel
Year
2000 - 2001
Country
Austria
Duration
23 min
Director
wr
Category
Essay
Orig. Language
german
Credits
Director
wr
Supported by
bm:bwk, OeH der Akademie der bildenden Künste, Land Burgenland , Kollektiv
Available Formats
Betacam SP PAL (Distribution Copy)
Format of Picture
4:3
Format of Sound
stereo
Picture Frequency
25 fps
Festivals (Selection)
2001
Kassel - Dokumentarfilm- & Videofest
Duisburger - Filmwoche
Graz - Diagonale, Festival des Österreichischen Films
Nyon - visions du réel - Festival Int. du Cinéma Documentaire
2002
Utrecht - Impakt Festival
2003
Bochumer Videofestival
2004
Buenos Aires Festival Int. de Cine Independiente BAFICI