WINNER Golden Hugo, Best Film, Chicago International Film Festival (1986)
WINNER Best Teleplay, Baden-Baden TV Film Festival (1986)
WINNER Bronze Leopard’s Eye, Locarno International Film Festival (1987)
WINNER Best Director, San Sebastián International Film Festival (1986)

Selected Screenings

Museum of Modern Art, New York (2014)
The New York Jewish Film Festival (2008)
Riverside Theater London (2005)
Austrian Film Festival, Lincoln Center, New York (1993)
Film Forum, New York (July 1988)
Ran for Eighteen Months in France EuropaCinema, Viareggio (1987)
San Francisco International Film Festival (1987)
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (1987)
Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival (1987)

Cannes Film Festival (1986)

Listen: NPR's Fresh Air Feature on the Axel Corti's Where to and Back Trilogy


Alfred “Freddy” Wolff (Gabriel Barylli), a young Viennese Jew who had escaped to New York several years before, and Adler, a left-wing intellectual from Berlin, return to Europe as American soldiers in 1944 as part of a team of translators and prisoner interrogators led by Lt. Binder, an anti-semitic German-American who admires the Germans army’s “efficiency.” When The team captures Treschensky, a German deserter, Freddy recognizes him as a Nazi who worked as his high school’s janitor.

The war in Europe ends and Freddy and Adler are posted in Vienna, which has adopted an air of amnesia about Nazi crimes in an effort to “move on.” The advent of Cold War compromises and pervasive anti-Semitism shatter the idealism of both men as Freddy falls in love with the daughter of a Nazi, and Adler, disillusioned with Communism, falls in with Treschensky, now a powerful black marketeer.

Critical Acclaim

“Remarkable for its fierce indictment of moral disarray in post World War II Austria and for its gritty recapturing of 1945 Vienna.”
– Walter Goodman, New York Times

“Vienna isn’t the pre-war city he left. It’s the bombed, carved-up, morally ambiguous terrain of The Third Man, a city in which everybody is trying to survive and get on with their lives…Whether it’s the disillusioned communist, the weasley (and charming) black-marketeer, the struggling actress (and daughter of a Nazi), or Freddy himself – the characters must rebuild their lives on what feels to them like historical quicksand. Corti shows us their compromises, betrayals, dreams and opportunism, and he does so without finding villains or heroes…Such a sense of life’s swirling complexity goes far beyond that of The Third Man and recalls (as critic David Thomson has noted) the density of The Rules of the Game. A fascinating, powerful film.”
– John Powers, L.A. Weekly

“Instead of dwelling on the pathos of war, Corti is more interested in the great post-war compromise. It is impossible to stay clean.”

“Nicolas Brieger as [Freddy’s] buddy, the sergeant, is great. He’s like a morally compromised Art Buchwald. Terrific.”
– Amy Lawrence, Los Angeles Reader

“Aided by Gernot Roll’s apt b&w lensing and Fritz Hollergschwandtner’s essential art direction, Troller and Corti have recreated a moment in their country’s past with cruel, vivid intimacy.”
– Variety


Director: Axel Corti
Screenwriters: Georg Stefan Troller, Axel Corti
Cinematographer: Gernot Roll
Editors: Ulrike Pahl, Claudia Rieneck, Klaus Riemer,
Werner Swossil, Lutz Kleinselbeck

Alfred “Freddy” Wolff: Gabriel Barylli
Sergeant Adler: Nicolas Brieger
Claudia Schütte: Claudia Messner
Captain Karpeles: Hubert Mann
Russian Woman: Liliana Nelska
Stodola: Kurt Sowinetz
Treschensky: Karlheinz Hackl
Lieutenant Binder: Joachim Kemmer
Oberst Schütte: Heinz Trixner

Home Use DVD:

Does not include Classroom or Library Use Rights or Public Performance Rights. More Information

Classroom/Library Use DVD: $195

Does not include Public Performance Rights. More Information

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Save when you purchase all 4 DVDs in The Axel Corti Collection! More


God Does Not Believe in Us Anymore (Where to and Back, Part 1)

Santa Fe (Where to and Back, Part 2)

A Woman's Pale Blue Handwriting

Biography of Axel Corti

Biography of Georg Stefan Troller

Download a Press Kit (PDF)

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Welcome in Vienna

Part 3, Where To and Back
Austria, 1986, 126 minutes, b&w, German with English Subtitles

Directed by Axel Corti
Written by Georg Stefan Troller

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Public Exhibition Formats: Beta, DVD





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