Sava, the foreigner, a nameless, ageless man. No matter what fate dishes out to him or what shores he is washed up on by the waves of life, he always manages to find his way. He ends up stranded in Vienna only after being double-crossed by a smuggler. But he is sure he will get his money back. Sava comes from Moldova, and in this world of borders having a Moldavian passport won't get you very far. He worked off the books in Germany for a while, but he got caught and was deported - as if working were a crime. This experience gave him his German language skills but it also left him angry and resentful about everything German. Sava is not a man of words but of deeds. He is a good hand at carving, but his real talent is survival, getting by even when the going gets tough.
Magdalena works as a restorer. Her divorce set her free. Magdalena is self-assured and competent, but she is shrouded by a secret that makes her seem aloof. She has an active sex life, or so it seems, picking up men on the street every night. Maybe it is also because she is afraid that if she were alone, her ex-husband would show up, knock on the door, beg her to let him in, threaten her, shower her with gifts and accusations, and make life hell for her again, just when she thought she had escaped all that. Her workplace is a sanctuary of complete silence and tranquility. For some time she has had a job restoring the paintings in a church just outside the city. She works side by side with a foreigner who is restoring and gilding the statues and angels, but they don't speak to each other. Their communication is reduced to glances and gestures, but slowly, very slowly intimacy develops between them.
Police inspector Albert Smutny has been divorced for a year now. For a year he has let himself go, he looks scruffy and unkempt and his soul is restless. His breath stinks, his hands tremble, his eyes are feverish. In other words, he still hasn't gotten over the divorce. And this is why he channels all his passion into his work. When it comes to uncovering sham marriages, he's the greatest. He derives infinite pleasure from every marriage he destroys, whether or not it really is a sham marriage. Whenever he senses happiness, he tries with all his might to find the words behind the bliss, the words that are the foundation of this love. He spares only the couples with children because he likes children.
That's what he wanted more than anything, but his wife didn't want children. At least not with him. Whenever he thinks of his ex-wife, he has to call her. No matter what time of the day or night it is. Or he drops by and bangs endlessly on the door. And when she won't open the door and refuses to answer the phone, he has no choice but to shadow her a little, just to see how she is and what she is doing. Or to see what foreign scum happens to be her new lover because her happiness has always been very important to him. He will travel through many worlds, and yet they will remain foreign and incomprehensible to him, as incomprehensible as that of his wife.
Script: Dimitre Dinev & Anja Salomonowitz
Director: Anja Salomonowitz
Casting: Eva Roth
Camera: Sebastian Pfaffenbichler
Production Design: Maria Gruber
Costumes: Tanja Hausner
Make-up: Susanne Weichesmiller Sofi Davidova Hvarleva
Editing and Sound Design: Frederic Fichefet
Sound: Nikolay Urumov
Music: Max Richter
Production Manager: Christine Schwarzinger
In-House Producer: Ulrike Ladenbauer
Executive Production Manager: Manfred Fritsch
Coproducer: Dimitar Gochev
Producers: Danny Krausz & Kurt Stocker
A DOR FILM Production