"Hi, I´m Robert Cambrinus, the director of this film!" This friendly greeting can be heard on the soundtrack, then it is immediately swept up by the film´s own images: The wooden lion will play an important role later.Cambrinus pays no attention to the film´s title, Commentary, as he takes a look at the next scene as in the audio commentary on a DVD: He intended to allude to Arabian deserts, shooting took hours, but the camera was, unfortunately, "a little shaky". In addition, formations that resemble dunes turn out to be wrinkles in a vaguely sand-colored blanket.
With a hefty portion of irony Cambrinus comments on his short film The Good Muslim, about a Muslim man who has emigrated to England, where he suffers from the pressures of life. The narrative literally overlays the images in a way that is often equally illuminating and disillusioning. Vitally important decisions are made on the basis of shockingly banal circumstances during shooting: The ending was intended to be quite different, but a technical problem arose during the last scene, and the use of a certain piece of music is purely coincidental - the editor chose it because of the title. Seemingly anecdotal digressions and doubts are simply left hanging, while a number of details concerning the story of the film´s creation and the backstory are reflected in the film. Irritatingly enough, they are two wholly different things. Deconstruction and (over-)interpretation merge: What is left of the images beyond set paths (thematic, technical, autobiographical, etc.) on the soundtrack? This is a clever game of deception and commentary on a contemporary viewing regime which has, for the most part, rarely been dealt with in cinematography: As if in an effective final point, Cambrinus promises a version of the film without audio commentary as a DVD extra. The remaining credits are accompanied by the characteristic embarrassed sighing that´s audible on DVD soundtracks when the person doing the commentary has nothing more to say.
A fiction film is created: During shooting of scenes about the conflicts of identity experienced by a Muslim who has settled in England, the filmmaker comments on the means employed in fiction⎯cinematic technique´s art of illusion, everyday places being transformed into film locations, the actors´ staged actions. In a subversive and amusing way the commentary swells into a deconstruction of the images on screen that eventually become settled in our heads.
Austria, United Kingdom