a film by Ruth Mader
World Premiere: Cannes 2003 - Un Certain Regard

Austria 2003// 74 min // 35mm // dolby digital


Struggle is set in contemporary Austria close to the border deviding East and West and hence deviding wealth and poverty. Ewa, a young Polish woman, hustles from one job to other – picking strawberries, working in a poultry slaughterhouse, scrubbing the swimming pools of the rich. Her existence is stripped to the level of subsistence and driven by the hope of finding better prospects for herself and her little daughter.
In the second part of the film, a recently divorced Viennese real estate agent begins haunting swingers’ bars, hoping to fill the emptiness that reverberates through his new life. He does not have Ewa’s financial anxiety, but he wrestles with a failed marriage and painful alienation from his daughter.
Both Ewa and Marold are physically vulnerable – Ewa due to her precarious ability to provide for her material needs, Marold because his stultifying isolation drives him to exploit his body in order to feel. When they meet, their desperation carries them to even greater extremes.

Directed by

Ruth Mader

Written by

Ruth Mader, Martin Leidenfrost, Barbara Albert


Bernhard Keller


Niki Mossböck

Production Design

Ilona Glöckel


Aleksandra Justa, Gottfried Breitfuß, Martin Brambach, Margit Wrobel, Rainer Egger


Gabriele Kranzelbinder, Alexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu


Ruth Mader


Struggle Films, AMOUR FOU Vienna

Supported by

Innovative Film Austria, ORF, Filmfonds Wien, Niederösterreich, Stadt Wien, Wiener Filmakademie


Autlook Filmsales

Awards & Nominations

CIPPUTI Award (Competition Torino Festival)
Best Script, Saarländische Rundfunk & ZDF Award (Max Ophüls Festival)
FIPRESCI (Molodist Int. Film Festival, Kiew)
Best Cinematography (Diagonale, Austria)
Jury Prize, "Food in Film" Festival, Italy
Special Mention Jury - Festival Cinematografico dell´Umbria


Dissolvenze Film Festival Gradisca Sonderprogramm "Amour Fou Pour Vous" 2005

Goa India 2004

Barcelona, 2004
RIGA, 2004
San Francisco Women, 2004
Amsterdam Open Air, 2004
Lagow, 2004
Neisse, 2004
Sochi, 2004
Barcelona Women, 2004
Brüssel Pink, 2004
Ankara Women, 2004
Terni Narni Umbria, 2004
Minneapolis/ St. Paul, 2004
Festival TROIA
Singapore International Film Festival
Istanbul International Film Festival
Buenos Aires Festival de Cine Intependiente, 2004
Diagonale, Austrian Film Festival
Mar del Plata, 2004
Sofia International Film Festival, 2004
Belgrad International Film Festival, 2004
Porto International Film Festival, 2004
Santa Barbara International Film Festival, 2004
Saarbrücken Film Festival, 2004
Prag Febio Festival
Rotterdam International Film Festival, 2004
Tromsö Critics`Week
Barcelona Film Festival
Triest International Film Festival, 12004
Bratislava International Film Festival, 2003
Thessaloniki Film Festival, 2003
Gijon Film Festival, 2003
Turin (Torino) Film Festival, 2003
Stockholm International Film Festival, 2003
Sainte Anne, 2003
Kiew Film Festival, 2003
London Film Festival, 2003
Hof International Film Festival, 2003
Bobigny Resonances Film Festival, 2003
Sao Paulo Film Festival, 2003
Valencia cinema del mediterrani, 2003
International Film Festival, 2003
Haifa International Film Festival, 2003
Ghent Film Festival, 2003
Warsaw Film Festival, 2003
Pusan International Fim Festival, 2003
Vancouver International Film Festival, 2003
Figueira da Foz, 2003
Toronto International Film Festival, 2003
Telluride Film Festival, 2003
Paris Film Festival, 2003
Gwangju International Film Festival, 2003
Sarajevo Film Festival, 2003
Motovun Film Festival, 2003
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, 2003
Las Palmas, 2003
Cannes, Un Certain Regard, 2003