– Did star director Ulrich Seidl take advantage of children?
It is said that the Austrian director confronted the minors with violence and made them expose themselves. Seidl disagrees with the Swiss distributor.
Underage amateur actors from Romania are said to have faced alcoholism, violence and nudity while filming a new feature film by director Ulrich Seidl. This is what he writes Spiegel in a comprehensive search. For representatives aged 9-16, there was insufficient preparation or proper care. Nor were the parents told that “Sparta” was about child sexual abuse.
Filmed in the Romanian city of Satu Mare in winter 2018/2019 and summer 2019. The Austrian production company used the flyers to search for “athletic boys aged 8-17”. She said they wanted to “represent Romania realistically and avoid any prejudice”.
Leave parents in ignorance
In fact, “Sparta” is about Ewald, played by Austrian actor Georg Friedrich, who gives judo lessons to children in Romania and discovers his inclinations towards pedophilia. Spiegel quotes several people from Ulrich Seidl’s team who were there during filming.
In one scene, 10-year-old amateur actor Marianne was said to have been yelled at by a drunk Roman man and hit on the arm by another man. At some point Marianne started crying. The boy tells Spiegel that the drunken amateur actor reminded him of his alcoholic father. After the scene ended, Seidel’s assistant urged Marianne to continue.
Another boy remembers standing in the bathroom with lead actor Georg Friedrich while he was shaving his private organs. According to Spiegel, the parents did not know that the young actors had to take off their underwear. The children were not prepared for their roles and at some point they could no longer distinguish between reality and fantasy.
Seidl is also said to have violated the rules that apply to working with children on set.
Award-winning Austrian director Ulrich Seidl has repeatedly exposed himself to criticism with films such as “M. Keller” or “Paradise: Libby”. He exposes people when he shows their abyss and oversteps the bounds while filming. His method is to display reality to the degree of pain. There are also many inventions in his documentaries.
Ulrich Seidl informed his lawyer that the parents and minor amateur actors had been informed of the film’s content. They would have known that the movie was about an adult who “feels drawn to boys, and takes on a kind of parenting.” But there is no explicit mention of child sexual abuse either.
ZFF says it’s “canceling” any movies
According to Spiegel, the director is said to have broken the rules that apply to working with children on set. Parents were not informed of the need to report to the Youth Welfare Office and provide a certificate from a pediatrician and psychiatrist.
Sparta celebrates its world premiere on September 9th at the Toronto Film Festival. The drama is a counterpart to “Rimini”, Seidel’s portrayal of fictional star Richie Bravo, Ewald’s brother in “Sparta”.
Rimini was shown at the last Berlinale and is also scheduled to be shown at the upcoming Zurich Film Festival. Will the movie be canceled now? And the festival doesn’t want to say anything about yet-to-be announced titles, writing: “In general, we don’t cancel films due to controversial allegations against filmmakers.”
There are various photos of some incidents on the Sparta website, which tend to get lost in Spiegel’s provocative tone. There are allegations that an aide rocked a child, which she denies. None of the journalists saw the final film. Cyril Thurston, the Swiss distributor for Rimini, saw it instead.
He says he can confirm Seidl’s lawyer’s statement, which he published after the Spiegel report: “No child has been photographed naked, in a sexual position, in a context or context.” The statement added that such scenes were not Seidl’s intention and were not filmed. “During filming, we never went beyond the limits of what was a moral and ethical duty.”
Pascal Bloom He has studied sociology and history and has worked as a cultural editor since 2014. He has written a book chapter on Heidi in the film. More information
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