Without a Trace - Eva Spreitzhofer - Austria
Without a Trace (Austria, 2023) by Eurochannel
Without a Trace (Immerstill, 2023)
Director: Eva Spreitzhofer
One woman's quest for answers in a sleepy village leads to shocking revelations and chilling discoveries. Eurochannel premieres Without a Trace.
Based on a novel by Roman Klementovic, set in the small Austrian village of Immerstill, the film follows Lisa, a young woman who has left her hometown behind to start a new life in Vienna. But when her younger sister Marie and her friend Natalie suddenly disappear, Lisa returns to Immerstill to search for them.
As Lisa delves deeper into the mystery of her sister's disappearance, she uncovers a web of violence and abuse that has been kept hidden in the village for years. Through her investigation, Lisa confronts the reality of domestic violence and the ways in which it is often ignored or dismissed by those in power. But she also discovers the power of sisterhood and the strength that can be found in coming together to fight against injustice.
One of the most powerful aspects of this movie is the way in which it reimagines the narrative of violence against women. Rather than portraying women as helpless victims, the film centers on their agency and resilience. Lisa, Marie, and Natalie are not simply passive objects to be acted upon by men; they are active agents in their own lives, fighting for their own survival and that of others. This portrayal is a refreshing change from the usual victim narrative that dominates media portrayals of violence against women.
At the same time, it does not shy away from the harsh realities of violence and abuse. The film explores the complex emotions of guilt and shame that often accompany survivors of abuse, and it does not offer easy answers or platitudes. Instead, it asks difficult questions about how we can work together to create a world in which violence against women is not only unacceptable but impossible. By setting the story in a small village in Austria, it draws attention to the ways in which such violence can be perpetuated by social and cultural norms. It asks viewers to consider how our own communities and cultures may contribute to the problem of violence against women and what we can do to change those norms.