Over the Years

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    Over the Years

    Über die Jahre

    Directed by



    188 min

    • German


    When we see nappies being packed in cellophane by hand, we already suspect it will all soon be over. Taking the demise of a textile factory in Austria’s Waldviertel region as its starting point, with the antiquated manufacturing plant initially shown in full operation, this film poses the question of what work means for people’s self-image and character. After the factory goes bankrupt and closes, the filmmaker accompanies some of its employees as they continue to make their way, questioning them about their daily routines, the circumstances in which they live, about looking for work or the new jobs they find. One woman’s situation is precarious, but that doesn’t prevent her from bringing up her grandchildren. Another woman works here and there, flexible and resourceful. One man blossoms visibly in his newly unemployed state. Bit by bit, different aspects of their private lives and personal misfortunes emerge. What begins as the documentation of a branch of industry dying a slow death develops over the course of ten years into an epic documentary tale of life and work in the post-industrial era. It is an outstanding, moving film devoted to people.


    • Best Film (Human Rights Competition) - BAFICI
    • Silver Eye for Best Feature-Length Documentary - Jihlava IDFF



    Nikolaus Geyrhalter
    Wolfgang Widerhofer
    Nikolaus Geyrhaltcer
    Wolfgang Widerhofer

    Director's Statement

    In 2003, we are told of a textile factory in the Waldviertel in which time has allegedly stood still. With the help of ancient machinery and the last remaining employees of a workforce that formerly numbered 300, the owner—now well over 70—is producing traditional fabrics for which market demand is rapidly declining. Soon thereafter, we set foot in the factory for the first time, without yet knowing where this journey will lead us. It becomes obvious very fast that we don‘t have a lot of time left before the factory will close its doors forever. In any case, we want to accompany the people we meet here for a little while longer. In the end, it evolved into more than ten years work — the time that ultimately elapsed between the beginning and the end of this film.

    Festival Bookings
    Nikolaus Geyrhalter

    Nikolaus Geyrhalter


    I see my profession more as a craft, I see myself as someone who lives off what he produces with a hammer and knife.

    Nikolaus Geyrhalter is a director, producer and cameraman, born in Vienna in 1972. In 1994, when he was 22 years old, he founded his own production company Nikolaus Geyrhalter Filmproduktion which focusses on documentaries and auteur fiction. His film, HOMO SAPIENS (2016), was selected at the Berlinale Forum. His film THE BORDER FENCE (2018) was selected for IDFA. His film EARTH (2019) had its premiere at Berlin IFF.

    Selected Filmography