'Life Guidance': Film Review | Venice 2017

Austrian actor Fritz Karl plays the lead in Ruth Mader's dystopian tale, which premiered as part of the Venice Days section in Venice.

Life in the near future might look like a perfect spread from Architectural Digest but the liberty of each individual turns out to be more than paper thin in Life Guidance, the second fiction feature from Austrian director Ruth Mader (Struggle). An unsettling but also frustrating dystopian fable packaged as property porn, this feature imagines a future not all that different from our own, where capitalism has triumphed and its rules, including the expectation of ever-better results, are being applied to each person individually as well. The film’s hero, however, is quite content with his life and refuses to better himself, which leads to an unasked-for intervention from the mysterious bureau of the title.

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