Family Constellations

Robert Cambrinus
Austria 2021 / 125’
El Planeta Feathers

Robert Cambrinus invites us to an Alpine villa where a middle-class family meets: father, mother, son and his girlfriend. One night, a traveling teacher visits, an incarnation of Zarathustra from the classic work by Friedrich Nietzsche, who is the Austrian director’s main inspiration. The character proclaims the birth of the New Man and shares his philosophy, upsetting the wealthy family's apparent peace and harmony. The visit slowly exposes internal disputes, hypocritical attitudes and the patriarchal, toxic system of family relationships. Although this story sounds familiar, the director of Family Constellations completely disorients the viewer by replacing actors with mannequins and then breathing life into this world by meticulously staging the interactions and adding an extensive soundtrack imitating the sounds of people and objects. Cambrinus argues that it is not the “willing suspension of disbelief” (Samuel T. Coleridge) that brings about an immersive film experience, as it is widely claimed, but rather the opposite: the full awareness of the artificiality of the storytelling facilitates an uncompromised reception of a film's subject.

Wojciech Tutaj

Robert Cambrinus

Robert Cambrinus (b. 1965) is an Austrian director and actor. He studied economics and business management in Vienna and Cambridge. After moving to London, he enrolled at East 15 Acting School and attended several acting courses. Since 2005, he has been making short films in which he develops the themes of cinematic subjectivism, the destruction of illusion and the perception process. His penultimate work A DAD was submitted to the competition for the Oscars in 2018. Family Constellations is the artist's full-length debut.


2009 The Good Muslim (short)

2009 Commentary (short)

2011 Home Video (short)

2013 I can't cry much louder than this / Viel lauter kann ich nicht schreien (short)

2016 A DAD (short)

2021 Rodzinne ustawienia / Family Constellations


director Robert Cambrinus
screenplay Robert Cambrinus
sound Martin Laumann
art director Anita Kern
cast (głosy/voices) Hannes Bickel, Samuel Pock, Dolores Winkler, Vanessa Payer Kumar, Roswitha Szyszkowitz, Martin Gross
producer Robert Cambrinus
production Concept Films Ltd.
sales Concept Films Ltd.
language German