18 NOV - 4 DEC 2022




Ewald left Austria for Romania several years ago. Now in his forties, he is seeking a fresh start. He breaks up with his girlfriend and moves to a remote part of the country. There, with a group of young boys from the area, he transforms a dilapidated school into a training ground. The children enjoy a new, carefree existence centred on sports and play. But locals soon begin to feel uneasy about the setup. And Ewald is forced to confront a truth he has long repressed. Sparta and its companion piece Rimini make up a diptych on the impossibility of escaping one’s past and the pain of finding oneself. Here, Ulrich Seidl once again focuses his and our attention on society’s misfits and forces us to confront our most contradictory feelings.


Director, screenwriter and producer Ulrich Seidl (Vienna, 1952) made his first films in the 1990s, including the documentaries Good News and Tierische Liebe, which we rescreened as part of the special sessions celebrating 20 years of l’Alternativa, having dedicated a parallel section to him in 2005. His international career really took off in 2001, after Hundstage won the Grand Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. Subsequent films, such as Import/Export and his Paradise Trilogy were screened to great acclaim in festivals in Cannes and Berlin, among others. After Im Keller and Safari, Seidl made one of his trademark duos, Rimini and Sparta, both being screened at l’Alternativa this year.