May 16th, 2008



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Irina PotapenkoRevancheHannes Thannheiser, Ursula Strauss, Johannes KrischJohannes Krisch, Andreas LustJohannes KrischAndreas Lust

Ex-con Alex plans to flee to the South with his girl after a robbery. But something terrible happens and revenge seems inevitable.

Release Year: 2008

Rating: 7.6/10 (5,656 voted)

Critic's Score: 84/100

Director: Götz Spielmann

Stars: Johannes Krisch, Irina Potapenko, Andreas Lust

Ex-con Alex dreams about starting a new life with the Ukrainian prostitute Tamara. To do so, he wants to rob a bank erasing debts and making the flight towards the South possible. But Tamara is unintentionally shot on the escape by the coincidentally present policeman, Robert. Alex flees to the farm of his grandfather and learns that Robert lives close by...thoughts of revenge start to arise.

Johannes Krisch - Alex
Irina Potapenko - Tamara
Andreas Lust - Robert
Ursula Strauss - Susanne
Johannes Thanheiser - Grandfather Hausner (as Hannes Thanheiser)
Hanno Pöschl - Konecny - Tamara's Boss
Magdalena Kropiunig - Prostitute in Hotel
Toni Slama - Tamara's Customer
Elisabetha Pejcinoska - Cinderella Prostitute #1
Aniko Bärkanyi - Cinderella Prostitute #2
Annamaria Haytö - Cinderella Prostitute #3
Nicoletta Prokes - Cinderella Prostitute #4
Rainer Gradischnig - Harry - Man Beating Tamara
Haris Bilajbegovic - Man stopping Harry
Aleksander Reljic-Bohigas - Owner of Cinderella

Taglines: Whose fault is it if life doesn't go your way? [US release]


Official Website: Janus Films [United States] | Official site [Germany] |

Release Date: 16 May 2008

Filming Locations: Austria

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | Austria: (DVD edition)

Did You Know?

The literal English translation of the title is 'revenge', but it also has another meaning of 'second chance'. If you play a game against someone and lose, you can ask for 'revanche', another game/ chance to beat your opponent.

User Review

The Bauer at the brothel, the peasant and the prostitute

Rating: 8/10

Revanche. Written and directed by Götz Spielmann. The look of the film is thoroughly authentic, and the Austrian milieu very convincing. Johannes Krisch is fabulous as Alex, the peasant brute with a broken heart and an uncontrollable sex drive. Andreas Lust is very good as well, as Robert, Alex's police officer nemesis. Caught in the middle is Ursula Strauss, who plays Susanne, Robert's wife.

The story starts out in the squalid world of Viennese prostitution, at a tacky brothel on the periphery. Alex works for the local prostitution boss and he has fallen in love with one of the Eastern European streetwalkers, Tamara, played by Irina Potapenko. When Tamara is recruited for a promotion to call-girl, she decides instead to run away with Alex. Here the story moves to the countryside where Alex's father lives in a miserable cabin on the outskirts of modern Austrian society. But if the surrounding become simpler, the interaction does not, as Alex becomes entangled in the lives of the small town police office and his wife.

The film is satisfying on many levels. It is a veritable ethnographic study of the interface between post-modern Central European human trafficking and pre-industrial Austrian bauern culture. Alex and his father speak to each other in what has been described to me as a rich and authentic peasant dialect rarely represented in film. Not only does it look and sound authentic, but the story makes perfect sense, too. And that's saying a lot for a European "written and directed by" film, where narrative logic doesn't often get more than cursory consideration. The name "revanche" has a double meaning in German, both revenge and a return match or a second chance, and it seems that both of these ideas are being developed throughout the story, as characters juggle their need to get even with their desire to secure their own futures. The tragic consequences of their every action lead them further and further down a path not of their own choosing. We get a taste of this feeling of predestination when the camera stops still at a forested point in the road, a spot that will take on fatal significance later in the story. Yet, if fate controls the characters' destinies, it is the strength of willpower that will decide who survives and who will fade into insignificance.

Revanche did not get nominated in any categories for the EFA awards in 2008, but it is Austria's entry for the Oscar Foreign Language film nomination in 2009.


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