Close Up

16 November 2019: The Most Beautiful Country in the World


The Most Beautiful Country in the World
Želimir Žilnik, 2018, 101 min

UK premiere. Followed by Q&A with Želimir Žilnik.

"The film follows a group of young migrants in Vienna who break through the administrative labyrinths to gain status and residence. We see their anxieties, mutual encouragement and achievements. While mastering the foreign language, they demonstrate skills in their professions, clarity and knowledge on entrance exams for schools and universities. It is also a story about new and old friendships, about the feeling of freedom in the new environment, without the pressure of war threats and the patriarchal stance of the family life.

The main hero is a twenty-three-year-old Bagher, who embarked on his journey from Afghanistan as a seventeen-year-old, leaving a war-torn family. After three years of travel (through Iran, Turkey, Greece and the Balkans) he arrived in Austria in 2015. He proved himself to be a brave, honest and intelligent young man. He has mastered the German language and has several devoted and intelligent friends. They are on the road of ‘Europeanisation’, but suddenly Bagher's grandfather Haydar appears, arriving in Austria illegally, through Slovenia. He came to find Bagher in order to convey the message, that he has a duty to preserve the name and honour of the family, because all the other men were killed in the war back in Afghanistan. The appearance of grandfather Haydar leads to discouragement, evocation of the past, conflicts and a series of new labyrinths, from which Bagher and his new friends must find the way out." – DA Films

Part of the 21st Century Žilnik survey

Special thanks to the Austrian Cultural Forum for supporting this screening.