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The Heritage of Austira

Viennese Milieus - Poverty in the Empire

On the “margins” of society, precarious realities of life exist in the middle of the centers of power. In the age of industrialization, cities are rapidly growing into metropolises, and with them poverty.

In the age of industrialization, the cities of the 19th century were transformed into magnificent metropolises, a complete expression of the power of their rulers. This upswing was also felt in the center of the Habsburg Empire, which developed into one of the most prosperous cities in Europe.

Crowds of people from all corners of the monarchy flock to Vienna in search of work. In the age of unstoppable progress, magnificent buildings and residences shoot up on the surface, but underground, directly under these symbols of power, the displaced eke out an existence. They find refuge in the widely ramified sewage system, along the Danube Canal or the Wien River, the dependents of this system live because they cannot or do not want to keep up – vagrants, prostitutes, day labourers, crooks and stutterers.

The work situation of the majority of the population was dominated by exploitation. Social reports opened up a view of incomprehensible grievances, fascinated, amazed and outraged. Faced with daily brutality and coercion in the workplace, many organized and began a struggle for their rights.

Women had to show a lot of strength and perseverance in the patriarchal society, because the path to equality continues to this day.

In this historical documentation by Bernhard Riener, displaced people come to the fore, and with them their fate, living space and social position.

Running Time: 45 min.
Original Language: German
Location: Austria
Shooting Period: February – May 2021
Completion: June 2021
Shooting Format: 4K

Script & Direction:Bernhard Riener
Camera & Editing:Jonathan Vaughan
Voice:Angelika Lang
Music:Michael Klement feat. Minky Oberwinkl
Sound:Klement Media
Jonathan Andel
Animation:Roman Hansi
Katharina Hofmann
Grading:Bernhard Schlick
Grading:Nicola Stampfer
Line Producer:Alina Parigger
PA:Tobias Gstaltner
Producers:Bernhard Riener
Jonathan Vaughan
Co-Producer:Norman Vaughan
Cast:Flora Divjak
Ivo Gastberg
Hannes Lengauer
Alina Parigger
Minky Oberwinkl
Werner Schwarz:Historian, Wien Museum
Marilies Mendel:Historian, ÖGB
Wolfgang Maderthaner:Historian
Werner Schwarz:Historian, Wien Museum
Marilies Mendel:Historian, ÖGB
Lilli Bauer:Curator, Waschsalon Karl-Marx-Hof
Anna Jungmayr:Curatorial Fellow, “Vor Schand und Noth gerettet”
A co-production of:portal filmproduktion OG
NormanVaughan Filmproduktion e.U.
ORF III Kultur und Information
Partners:Kultur Land Oberösterreich
MCB Hulla