What to watch: Eismayer
Making its London premiere at the watchAUT Austrian Film Festival, Eismayer is a film by David Wagner.
Based on actual events, the film gives us the story of Vice Lieutenant Eismayer – one of the most feared and uber-macho trainers in the Austrian Army.
While Eismayer is committed to his work, things on the home-front aren’t going smoothly – he’s increasingly distant from his wife, preferring to find sexual connections through anonymous hook-ups with guys.
Adding fuel to the fire is the arrival of new recruit Mario Falak. Falak is young, headstrong, and confident. Despite trying to repress his feelings, Eismayer is increasingly drawn to the young man and is faced with the prospect of risking everything in order to pursue what he wants.
Sexual tension within a military setting is something that has been widely explored, but Eismayer is a solid contribution to that genre – this is a well-told story with authentic characters struggling to navigate their way through the world in which they operate. Questions of identity are presented and explored intelligently.
As the title of the film suggests, this is Eismayer’s story. There are unexplored narratives and tensions – we don’t learn much about Falak, we don’t know what draws him to military service, we don’t know what draws him to this older man – but this is a compelling film that is worth adding to your watch-list.
Eismayer will screen at the watchAUT Austrian Film Festival on 24 March, in London.