Foreign Film Submissions, 2015: Hirschen (Germany)

by HFPA December 11, 2015

Part of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s mission is to foster greater understanding through world cinema. This year 72 Foreign Language films were submitted for Golden Globes consideration. Here is an overview of one of them.

Hirschen tells the story of the townsfolk from a small mountain village who live their normal lives. Then comes the day when the factory, where almost all inhabitants work, closes down. Most of the villagers move away. Only a few people decide to stay. Among them, the butcher (Sepp Lusser), his daughter Susi (Beatrice von Moreau), the major (Thomas Widemair), the doctor (Joseph Holzknecht) and the mechanic (Bernhard Wolf).

They try to find a solution that would give them the possibility to remain in their beloved village. Suddenly, on the road to the village, a car crashes into a deer. The locals take very good care of the injured driver (George Inci). The event makes the friends come to a strange but (they think) lucrative idea.

The film was shot on a miniscule budget in a small village in Austria. All the

Villagers participated, which makes the picture very real because it could have been their story. The director George Inci, who also acts in the movie, used a lot of improvisation on the set with amateur actors. The director grew up in a village not unlike Hirschen in the film – but originally was born in the Kurdish part of Turkey.

He says about his film: “What was interesting for me is that all villages in the whole world and their inhabitants, seem to follow similar rules and behaviors. So nothing inside the village can destroy this kind of harmony. But of course there is an influence coming from the outer world”. In the town described in the film, people have become completely dependent on a single large company. When it disappears, the very source of their identity and independence also comes to an end.

“For me the whole film was like a big playground,” says Inci. “Nothing was forbidden, everything was possible. We shot the whole film two times (one time in German and once in English). In the end we came to discover a completely new English dialect: the “original mountain English”.

Serge Rakhlin