This article's focus is Planet Ottakring (dir. Michael Riebl, 2015), a socially aware romantic comedy in which an alternative currency is used to free one of Vienna's most rapidly gentrifying districts from the clutches of a local loan shark. In establishing Riebl's film as a stunning, if unusual and underappreciated, critique of the banking industry's role in the ongoing global financial crisis, the article situates Planet Ottakring as a response to the precarity inherent in neoliberal approaches to home ownership, one that is very much in keeping with the Austro-Marxism that emerged as a reaction to the socio-political and cultural battles that continue to be waged in Vienna's outer districts. Riebl's depiction of organized struggle shows how an alternative form of community comes into being, not because the people involved happen to live in the same district but because they share in a communal currency that stands for a shared set of values and provides a sense of belonging, an anticapitalist sense of Heimat.


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pp. 442-455
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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