Markus Schleinzer

Austria, Luxembourg, 2018 / 111 min / German & French OV with EN subt. (DE & FR OV with EN subt.) / drama

Luxembourgish Premiere

The story of a Nigerian child, abducted from Africa and raised like a museum piece in Viennese court.

At the beginning of the 18th century, a ten-year-old boy is abducted from Africa and brought to Europe. Sold to a countess, the boy, baptised Angelo, becomes another exotic treasure in her collection and is “civilised” through an educational experiment. As an adult, under a new owner, Angelo becomes a valet and acts out fictional stories from Africa to entertain the “enlightened” high society. His success propels him even higher, and he becomes closer to the Emperor of Austria. When he decides to secretly marry Magdalena, a young, white maidservant, Angelo is banished. Despite his initial acceptance by the Viennese elite, the black man’s true place in the order of things is made clear.

“Inspired by surviving records about the life of Angelo Soliman, an 18th-century Viennese "court moor", Angelo tells the story of a young African boy who is Europeanized by force. Although director Markus Schleinzer's grandiose period drama is set back in the courts of the Habsburg empire, its lessons also apply to the present. […] Schleinzer masterfully dissects the continual challenges of navigating life in a foreign culture and provides us with a wonderful parable for today.” Toronto International Film Festival


Thu 14/03 18:30 Ciné Utopia DE & FR OV with EN subt. Public

“Inspired by the controversial figure of Angelo Soliman, Austrian director Markus Schleinzer delivers a historical drama on the acceptance of the other, which feels extremely contemporary. […] Each scene leaves the viewer with a feeling of eerie emptiness as the story develops – especially when the past still feels alarmingly like the present. Schleinzer hints that this deeply rooted racist behaviour towards those who are “different” hasn’t changed since the 18th century – especially now, in just another “modern, cultured and united” Europe, where such social and racial matters were considered solved but are disputed, and where people’s tolerance of the “other” is vanishing at an alarming rate.” Vassilis Economou, Cineuropa, 18/09/2018

Angelo is a mesmerising portrait of a man of quiet dignity whose very humanity is denied by those around him.” Wendy Ide, Screen Daily, 8/09/2018

“The life story of African slave integrated into 18th-century Viennese aristocracy, Markus Schleinzer's second feature is formally stunning and politically seething. […] Angelo is not embalming history, however. From those unforgiving fluorescent lights to the chasms of scoreless silence that separate its brief, mocking twirls of baroque harpsichord, even the iciest modernist flourishes of this extraordinary film serve to enliven its narrative, to place it in a 21st-century context — where, finally and most cuttingly, Angelo’s treatment doesn’t look all that unfamiliar.” Guy Lodge, Variety, 29/09/2018

  • Best Costume Design – Tanja Hausner, Austrian Film Award, 2019 (Austria)
  • Best Make-Up Design – Anette Keiser, Austrian Film Award, 2019 (Austria)
  • Best Production Design – Andreas Sobotka, Martin Reiter, Austrian Film Award, 2019 (Austria)
Cast & Credits
Makita Samba, Alba Rohrwacher, Larisa Faber, Kenny Nzogang, Lukas Miko, Gerti Drassl, Michael Rotschopf, Jean-Baptiste Tiémélé, Nancy Mensah-Offei, Olivier Baume, Martine Schambacher, Anne Klein, Jean-Michel Larré, Pierre Bodry, Marisa Growaldt
Markus Schleinzer, Alexander Brom
Gerald Kerkletz
Pia Dumont
Pia Dumont, Philippe Kohn, Loïc Collignon
Andreas Sobotka, Martin Reiter
Novotny & Novotny Filmproduktion, AMOUR FOU Luxembourg / Producteurs : Alexander Glehr, Franz Novotny, Bady Minck, Alexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu, Markus Schleinzer

Markus Schleinzer was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1971. From 1994 to 2010 he worked as a casting director and was engaged in the production of about seventy feature films, including several films by Jessica Hausner, Ulrich Seidl and Michael Haneke. In 2008, while working as a casting director on Haneke‘s The White Ribbon, he was given the chance to train the child actors and to prepare scenes with them behind and in front of the camera. From this experience, he decided to try his own luck as a filmmaker. Michael (2011), his provocative feature film debut as director and screenwriter, premiered in the Official Competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011. Schleinzer has also worked as an actor in theatre and film. His performances in The Robber by Benjamin Heisenberg and One of Us by Stephan Richter were praised by critics. In 2014 he co-wrote the script of Casanova Variations, by Michael Sturminger, which competed at the San Sebastián Festival. Angelo (2018) is his second feature as a director.

  • 2018 – Angelo
  • 2011 – Michael