Venice is pure romance; that which all Europeans yearn for, the dream of all Americans, the wish of all Japanese.
But the world’s most beautiful city turns into a ghost town at nightfall. Entire quarters, long since abandoned by their inhabitants, stand empty, their structures merely providing a myth to serve business interests.
Twenty million foreigners visited the city last year. That’s an average of 60,000 day. And this year it will be more still. By comparison, there are only 48,000 inhabitants, the same amount as they were after the Great Plague of 1438. And next year it will be fewer still. For the city is becoming uninhabitable. Venice’s own urban life has almost collapsed; it scarcely still exists.
The film shows what remains of Venetian life: a subculture of tourist service industries; a port for monstrous cruisers which is waiting to be expanded; Venetians who are moving to the mainland as there are no longer affordable apartments to be found; an aged noblewoman who treats the municipal council with scorn; a realtor who is considering abandoning the sinking ship.
ENGLISH SPEAKING PRESS
"The Venice Syndrome is a must-see for anyone planning to visit Venice. If you are thinking of dropping in for a few hours during a cruise, you may want to think again. Yet, disturbing as the film is, Venice still looks hauntingly beautiful." (The New Zealand Herald)
"Andreas Pichler’s sobering documentary The Venice Syndrome confirms the great city is haunted, alright – by its own impossibly glamorous legacy of gorgeous girls and gondoliers." (The Globe and Mail, Canada)
"The Venice Snydrome reviewed: if Venice is sinking will the tourist want to swim? Excessive tourism can erode the soul of a place as surely as crumbling mortar." (National Post, Canada)
Editing: Florian Miosge
Sound: Stefano Bernardi
Music: Jan Tilman Schade
Producer: Thomas Tielsch
Co-producer: Michael Seeber, Arash, Valerio B. Moser, Andreas Pichler
Supported by: EURIMAGE, Filmfund Hamburg, Österreichisches Film Institut, ORF, Media II Programm, BLS - Business Location Südtirol Alto Adige, RAI Sender Bozen, Autonome Provinz Bozen
Festivals: Dok-Leipzig, Festival dei Popoli,
Berlinale (lola@berlinale), Karlovy Vary Int. Film Festival, New Zeland
Int. Film Festival, Doc Aviv, Docville-Leuven,, Planete+Doc Warsaw,
Cinemabiente Torino, SANFIC FF – Santiago de Chile, Open City Docs,
Kino-Verleih Deutschland: realfiction
Kino-Verleih Österreich: Filmladen
Cinema distribution Canada: Kinosmith