by Karl Markovics

From the director of "BREATHING" (Cannes 2011)

Heinrich Senft, a 93 year old, cranky pensioner, lives on a small allotment in Vienna. His dog died during the night and he wants to dig a hole behind his cabin to bury him. But failing to dig it himself he begrudgingly hires a young man from Afghanistan, Adib. While the two struggle to trust each other, Adib finds ways to pacify and appease the angry old man. Senft finds out that Adib has a wound on his foot, which seems rather badly covered up, but Adib pretends that all is well. When the work is done, Senft seems relieved to have the foreigner out of his back yard. Yet a little while later, when Senft finds Adib unconscious at the bus stop, he knows he will need to help the young man. When Adib regains consciousness, he refuses to go to hospital out of fear to be deported. Senft decides to take matters into his own hands to save this young man and the two spend a night together that is so full of chance, will-power, and inner revelation, that it sometimes appears hard to believe that these two found each other.

Genre / Language / Length
Drama / German / 89 minutes
Original title
directed by
produced by
  • Borhanulddin Hassan Zadeh
  • Heinz Trixner

Press Quotes

"Get ready for one of the year's best films."

"Nobadi turns the oddball couple genre on its head."
"By refusing the easy approach, Markovics uncovers the higher truth within, offering pertinent commentary on the migrant crisis, Austrian society, and universal prejudice, while never seeping into didacticism. "Nobadi reveals itself to be a work both profound and entertaining, challenging assumptions right up until the final frame."

"There's a version of Nobadi, from writer-director
and, elsewhere, actor

Karl Markovics, in which its two leads—cranky old Robert and Afghani refugee Adib—learn to help each other, both changing for the better. That, however, is not this film. In fact, it may well be difficult to view films of that type ever again after watching this one—an outcome that really only benefits us, the audience."Nobadi's true pleasures are found in how carefully Markovics dances around expectations before exploding his film well beyond its modern-day political framing."

"If you're wondering if this is going to be a film where you get to fall in love with a dog only to see it die, the answer is no. Instead, what we have is getting to know Heinrich and Adib by way of their differences. Trigger/content warning: There Will Be Blood. Eventually, this film becomes about remorse. While Nobadi makes reference to Homer in The Odyssey, the fact of the matter is nobody is a nobody. Everybody is a somebody."

"The premise was used in Aki Kaurismaki's The Other Side Of Hope and re-visited again in this Austrian version entitled Nobadi. Nobadi is a more serious version but not without humour."
"Candid performances by both Trixner and Zadeh."

Selected Festivals & Awards

Toronto International Film Festival
Fantastic Fest in Austin
Reykjavik International Film Festival
Hof International Film Festival
Thessaloniki International Film Festival
Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival
Glasgow Film Festival