Elfriede Jelinek: Language Unleashed

Claudia Müller / & / 2022

The first major film portrait of Austrian playwright and author Elfriede Jelinek sets new cinematic standards, painting a phantom portrait of a reclusive, intellectual giant and fearless social observer.

Elfriede Jelinek has never tried to win a popularity contest. So when she won the Nobel Prize instead, it caused a scandal in her homeland. Indeed, since publishing her first novel in 1970, the Austrian playwright and author has devoted her literary life to the social norms, historical repressions and petty-bourgeois mores of her homeland. For generations of readers she has been an intellectual giant, but almost no matter who you are, it’s hard not to feel stung by her books and plays, or by film adaptations like Michael Haneke’s version of her novel ‘The Piano Teacher’. Jelinek is a fearless rebuker of her times, but the Nobel Prize was nonetheless a fatal turning point in her life. Claudia Müller’s portrait sets new cinematic standards for the genre.