Angelo 2018

Directed by Markus Schleinzer Fresh

An arresting, crisply detailed period drama examining the legacy – and tainted freedom – of an African slave integrated into Viennese high society. Based on a true story.

Jul 27

Event Cinemas Queen Street

Jul 29

Event Cinemas Queen Street

Aug 04

Event Cinemas Queen Street

Austria / Luxembourg In French and German with English subtitles
111 minutes DCP
M
nudity & content that may disturb

Producers

Alexander Glehr
,
Franz Novotny
,
Bady Minck
,
Alexander Dumreicher‐Ivanceanu
,
Markus Schleinzer

Screenplay

Markus Schleinzer
,
Alexander Brom

Photography

Gerald Kerkletz

Editor

Pia Dumont

Production designers

Andreas Sobotka
,
Martin Reiter

Costume designer

Tanja Hausner

With

Makita Samba (Angelo, 4)
,
Alba Rohrwacher (Countess)
,
Larisa Faber (Angelo’s wife)
,
Kenny Nzogang (Angelo, 2)
,
Lukas Miko (Emperor)
,
Gerti Drassl (nanny)
,
Michael Rotschopf (Prince)
,
Jean-Baptiste Tiémélé (Angelo, 5)
,
Nancy Mensah-Offei (Angelo’s daughter)
,
Olivier Baume (doctor)
,
Martine Schambacher (old maid)
,
Anne Klein (young maid)
,
Jean-Michel Larré (language teacher)
,
Pierre Bodry (priest)
,
Marisa Growaldt (last Empress)
,
Christian Friedel (museum director)

Festivals

Toronto
,
San Sebastián
,
London 2018

Elsewhere

The life and times of Angelo Soliman, an African slave boy sold and assimilated into 18th-century Viennese aristocracy, is exhibited with quintessential Austrian precision – and a masterful undercurrent of irony – in this piercing dramatisation of an ignominious chapter in European history.

Groomed for court life from a young age by a wealthy countess (Alba Rohrwacher), Angelo grows into a celebrated court jester and, along with this role, the upward mobility of a nobleman. But for witnesses to this privileged upbringing, the illusion of Angelo’s freedom is painful to behold. Even more telling is Angelo’s own quiet yet acute awareness of his singular reality, laid bare in silent encounters with less fortunate members of his race, the insult of having to perform alongside fellow courtiers in black face, or the hypocrisy of a society that swiftly turns on him after his marriage to a white woman.

Coolly and perceptively directed by Markus Schleinzer (a former collaborator of Michael Haneke), the film’s painterly compositions play their part in framing Angelo’s humiliating fate as a trophy and specimen – as well as shrewdly implicating dominant cultures, then and now, in the Othering of racial minorities. — Tim Wong