The Best of All Worlds

Not available for screening anymore

The Best of All Worlds (Die beste aller welten)

Directed by Adrian Goiginger

  • Austria, Germany 2017; 103 min
  • Original version: German
  • Genre: Thriller
    • The Europe Award for Best European First Film - Zlin FF


Adrian is a bright seven year old boy who enjoys playing outside. To him the outskirts of the city of Salzburg are a great land of adventure. Adrian enjoys the fact that his mother Helga spends a great deal of time with him.

He finds it normal that his mother´s partner and friends are often either euphoric or extremely tired. Helga tries to hide from her son that this is the result of drug addiction.

However, in some ways this could be seen as a sheltered childhood: seven year old Adrian lives with his mother Helga and her partner Gunter in the outskirts of the city of Salzburg, hardly an idyllic location. The imaginative boy is aware of his mother´s love. He wants to become an adventurer.

He does not realize that Helga, Gunter and their friends, who are in the apartment almost every day, with the light blocked out by bedsheets hung over the windows, or throwing wild parties at the River Salzach are heroin addicts, and high even in his presence. Time and again Helga manages to maintain a balance between her world of caring for her son and her addiction, thus giving him a happy childhood – simply the Best of All Worlds.

For Adrian, the junkies and dealers who usually hang out in Helga's flat, either euphoric or dead tired, are an unchallenged reality, and simply people he has a lot of fun with.

Whenever the social services send someone over to check on Adrian, Helga and her son transform the darkened drug den into an acceptable family home. Helga offers fantastic reasons for all those things which Adrian might consider strange, and her imaginative son integrates her explanations into his tales of adventure.

When she decides again to stop taking heroin and explains to her son that she will be sick for a while, he lovingly cares for her. However, she starts falling into an emptiness and cannot cope with everyday life. Again she loses her battle against the drug.

Later Helga's dealer dies of an overdose on her bed and the police enter her flat. From now on the outside world cannot be kept outside any longer. Helga realizes she might lose her son for ever unless she can kick her habit.

Director's Statement

How can a drug addicted mother be the best mother in the world?

My mother´s death at the age of 39 in July 2012 triggered my wish to make a movie about her battle with heroin addiction and about her love for me.

In spite of her addiction and all on her own she managed to give me an adventurous and loving childhood. She had incredible strength!

Salzburg, my home town, is internationally known for its festival, Mozart and its beautiful old town. However, the fact that a drug scene has been existing for decades at the outskirts and is not shrinking, is skillfully being ignored or covered up by the inhabitants and the politicians.

The authentic potrayal of the drug scene of the 90ies was a real matter of heart to me. With this movie I want to give a voice to those junkies, dealers, small-time criminals and people without jobs; they are not as shown as repugnant, but as normal people, who try to numb their sorrow and depression with drugs.

It is not wealth, toys or healthy food, but only one thing a child really needs: Love.

Therefore „The Best of All Worlds“ is a love story; a love story between a boy and his mother.

It is about a boy whose cheerfulness lights up darkness and a mother who loves her son dearly but stays caught up in her addiction. Their unique love for each other turns their lives bearable, or even more: They create their own world, the best of all worlds.



    Bettina Horvath 

Festival Bookings


    Anne Laurent