Hidden reserves (film)

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Original title Hidden reserves
Country of production Austria , Switzerland , Germany
original language German
Publishing year 2016
length 96 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Valentin Hitz
script Valentin Hitz
production Oliver Neumann ,
Sabine Moser
music Bachmann courtship
camera Martin Gschlacht
cut Karina Ressler

Hidden Reserves is an Austrian - Swiss - German coproduction from 2016 by Valentin Hitz . The premiere took place on September 28, 2016 at the Zurich Film Festival , where the film was awarded the Golden Eye for Best Film in the Focus Switzerland, Germany, Austria competition section . The Austrian premiere took place on October 21, 2016 as part of the Viennale , the cinema release in Austria on October 28, 2016. In Germany, the film opened on April 20, 2017.


The dystopian science fiction film is set in Vienna in the near future. 82% of the Viennese population live below the poverty line, for one percent of the population prosperity continues to rise. An insurance company created a system in which people are not even entitled to their own death. After death, the mostly indebted citizens are reanimated and kept in an artificial twilight state. The debts are paid off by taking advantage of their mental and physical resources; the bodies are used, for example, as human spare parts stores, as birthing machines or as information stores. Only those who have previously taken out “death insurance” can avoid this fate. However, only a few people can afford this, and a two-class society is emerging .

Vincent Baumann is the agent responsible for selling death insurance at this group. For him the focus is on his career, for this and his own benefit he does not consider anything or anyone. The activist Lisa Sokulova lives underground in an impoverished parallel society and is looking for a way to turn off the life support camps with an attack. Vincent is assigned to Lisa by the company. When he cannot get Lisa's father, a very rich man, to take out a death insurance policy, Vincent himself is demoted. He now lives in the satellite and container districts that surround Vienna. His employers put him on Lisa so that she can persuade her father to take out death insurance. Lisa knows about Vincent, but she needs him for her own plan. The two come together, knowing full well who the other is, but neither of them know about the other's plan. In the course of their relationship, Vincent tells Lisa that her father took out death insurance for her. Her father is seriously injured in a car accident in Vienna, whereupon Lisa and other activists illegally fetch her father from a clinic and hide him in a poor area. Vincent can, however, attach a tracking device to Lisa's motorcycle, which leads him to Lisa's father. Thereupon he alerts his employers, who take Lisa's father with them and take him to the life support camp, here misleadingly called " geriatrics ". When Lisa finds out, she breaks up with Vincent. Nevertheless, he seeks her and gives her his identity status. Lisa and her activist friends need this to get into the geriatric ward. Vincent now wants to join Lisa's plan to regain her trust. Vincent transfers his death insurance to Lisa, who had already canceled her death insurance. Since she now has a new death insurance, she transfers it to her father so that he can be released. With Vincent's identity status, Lisa can successfully penetrate the geriatric ward and now wants to paralyze it from the inside with an electromagnet, but is shot. Her friends shut down the power grid and meanwhile do not notice that Vincent has followed Lisa. Lisa dies before his eyes.

After this job, Vincent is promoted again and is allowed to move out of the satellite town. He then sneaks into the geriatric ward to look for Lisa, who no longer has death insurance because of the attack. He finds her with the surrogate mothers, where she is artificially kept alive. He loosens them from their life support tubes and lets them sink in an old water slide that she used to visit as a child.


The shooting took place in spring 2015, and the shooting took place in Vienna , Lower Austria , Halle (Saale) , Leipzig , Berlin and Bratislava . The film was supported by the Austrian Film Institute , the Vienna Film Fund and Filmstandort Austria , the State of Lower Austria , the Central German Media Fund , the German Film Fund , the Zurich Film Foundation and the Suisa Foundation ; Austrian Broadcasting and the Swiss Radio and TV Company SRG SSR were involved . The film was produced by FreibeuterFilm , co-producers were Neue Mediopolis and Dschoint Ventschr . Uve Haußig was responsible for the sound, Tanja Hausner for the costume design and Hannes Salat for the production design .

Awards and nominations (selection)

Hannes Salat, Marion Mitterhammer, Karina Ressler and Martin Gschlacht at the Austrian Film Award 2017

Zurich Film Festival 2016

  • Award for the best film in the Focus Switzerland, Germany, Austria category

Austrian Film Award 2017

4th Saas-Fee Film Festival (SFFF) 2017

  • Grand Prize


The daily newspaper Kurier praised the cameraman and production designer: Visually, this film is terrific. Cinematographer Martin Gschlacht and production designer Hannes Salat have managed to create a dystopian Vienna with a comparatively small budget, with a look that does not make one doubt the credibility of the setting for a single second, but criticized the plot: The film is the exciting question that the director poses, unfortunately not fair, but gets more and more entangled in incomprehensible actions of the characters. Plot arcs that have been viewed dozen of times are dealt with and secondary characters who are only there to die disappear from the screen faster than they have appeared.

Also, the newspaper criticized the press which sometimes irritating wooden dialog control or the equally simple as kinky action , praised Designer Hannes salad, cameraman Martin Gschlacht and Balz Bachmann's soundtrack and ruled on the film as a stereotype in broad terms, but overall successful. Also thanks to the brilliance of Clemens Schick.

The Wiener Zeitung judged similarly, also praised the cameraman with […] sci-fi elegance captured in sterile, fascinating pictures by Martin Gschlacht, which has never been seen in Austria before, and also criticized the plot: Hitz combines jazzy rhythms here high-contrast film noir aesthetic that gives hidden reserves their impressive look. The emotional, narrative component of the film just can't quite keep up with that.

Web links

Commons : Hidden Reserves  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Release certificate for hidden reserves . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry (PDF). Template: FSK / maintenance / type not set and Par. 1 longer than 4 characters
  2. Hidden Reserves - Archive - Zurich Film Festival . Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  3. More films, more budget: the Zurich Film Festival is expanding . Article dated September 8, 2016, accessed March 4, 2020.
  4. Mitteldeutsche Zeitung: The shooting of “Hidden Reserves” in Halle Neustadt-Scheiben is coming to the cinema . Article dated March 28, 2015, accessed September 9, 2016.
  5. Austrian Film Institute. Retrieved September 9, 2016 .
  6. ^ Vienna Film Fund: Hidden Reserves . Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  7. ^ Salzburger Nachrichten: A main prize in Zurich for Austrian sci-fi film . Article dated October 2, 2016, accessed October 2, 2016.
  8. Nominations for the Austrian Film Prize 2017 . Retrieved December 14, 2016.
  9. ^ Salzburger Nachrichten: "Hidden Reserves" won the main prize at the Saas-Fee Film Festival . Article dated April 2, 2017, accessed April 2, 2017.
  10. ^ Kurier: Viennale review: "Hidden Reserves" . Article dated October 25, 2016, accessed October 26, 2016.
  11. ^ Diepresse.com: "Hidden Reserves": Human Farms of the Future . Article dated October 26, 2016, accessed October 27, 2016.
  12. ^ Wiener Zeitung: Hidden Reserves - Undead in the Sackerl . Article dated October 26, 2016, accessed October 27, 2016.