michael gallucci

MOVIE REVIEW: IMPORT/EXPORT

In Uncategorized on 10/08/2009 at 4:53 am

In the long and somewhat laborious Import/Export, the lives of two disparate characters never actually intersect. Yet their paths to new lives take similar courses. Olga is a Ukrainian single mother and nurse. To make ends meet, she takes a job at an online porn company, masturbating in front of a webcam for rude, faceless customers. Pauli is a young and not-too-bright musclehead living with his mom and loutish stepdad in Austria. He loses his latest job as a security guard after a gang of thugs humiliate him in a parking deck. It’s not long before both Olga and Pauli hit the road – she heads for Austria, he to Ukraine – for new jobs. But anyone expecting rosy futures for the pair doesn’t know much about indie or international cinema. The relocations merely amount to new but still soul-sucking work for Olga and Pauli. Director Ulrich Seidl laces some dark humor in Import/Export, but nearly every scene places the leads in some desperate, desolate or degrading situation. It’s not particularly fun to watch these hard-luck working-class characters suffer. And it’s not particularly rewarding to watch lengthy scenes (many of them wordless) about run-down lives parade in front of the screen for two-plus hours. In fact, it’s downright exhausting. –Michael Gallucci

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