Review: ‘I Am From Nowhere’

A smug and condescending pic about all the pics made about Andy Warhol's ancestral village of Mikova in eastern Slovakia, "I Am From Nowhere" has nowhere to go. Fests and cablers might want to pair this with Stanislaw Mucha's infinitely more interesting 2001 German docu "Absolut Warhola" as cautionary lesson how not to approach a subject, but beyond that prospects are slim.

A smug and condescending pic about all the pics made about Andy Warhol’s ancestral village of Mikova in eastern Slovakia, “I Am From Nowhere” has nowhere to go. Fests and cablers might want to pair this with Stanislaw Mucha’s infinitely more interesting 2001 German docu “Absolut Warhola” as cautionary lesson how not to approach a subject, but beyond that prospects are slim.

“Ever since Warhol became famous, everyone wants to belong to his family,” someone sniffs during proceedings, but that’s to be expected, considering some 35% of burg’s 150 souls bear that name. (“I am not a relative,” says mayor Alexander Vaco with refreshing honesty). Story focuses loosely on three people, geeky high school teacher Josef Keselica, trumpet-playing boilerman Jan Zavacky and vigorous senior citizen Eva Prextone (who’s also featured in Mucha’s film). Helmer Misch avows work underscores “man’s very personal desire for a better life”; while sentiment may be sincere, overall impression is that villagers — who now even have their own film festival — seem to feel their 15 minutes of fame has long since passed. Tech credits are OK, with irony laid on way too thick.

I Am From Nowhere

Austria-Germany-U.K.

Production

A Navigator Film production, in coproduction with Hanfgarn & Ufer. (International sales: Austrian Film Commission, Vienna.) Produced by Johannes Rosenberger. Directed by Georg Misch. From an idea by Silvia Beck, Misch.

Crew

Camera (color, Kodak Vision DigiBeta), Beck; editor, Michael Palm; music, Mikhail Alperin. Reviewed at Karlovy Vary Film Festival (Special Video Screenings), July 7, 2003. Slovak, English dialogue. Running time: 78 MIN.

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