If you want to practice your German or just love Austrian culture, watching famous Austrian movies and series on Netflix is an entertaining and educational way to spend an evening. Whether you fancy a documentary, an award-winning drama, or a classic horror, there’s a film for you, straight from Austria that will help you with your comprehension skills.
Austrian movies aren’t often talked about much so you might be under the illusion that the only way to practice your German is by watching movies from Germany! Thanks to Netflix, that’s not so, as they keep expanding their collection to include films from all over the world so you can learn some Austrian vocabulary too! So, here are some of the best Austrian movies and series that you can stream on Netflix.
- Was Wir Wollten (What We Wanted)
- Das Schaurige Haus (The Scary House)
- Bad Luck
- The Ivory Game
- Altes Geld (Old Money)
1. Was Wir Wollten (What We Wanted)
Based on the short story “Der Lauf der Dinge” by Peter Stamm, “What We Wanted” (“Was Wir Wollten”) is an Austrian drama that was released in 2020. The plot focuses on a couple who are trying to conceive and the vacation they take to Sardinia, which tests their marriage, and the family next door who does nothing to ease it.
This multi-award-winning movie tells the story of a young Nigerian woman, Joy, who is caught up in a sex trafficking ring in Austria. She uses prostitution as a means to survive and support herself and her family. You dive deeper into Joy’s world as she’s put in charge of a young teenage girl who is supposed to follow in her footsteps but has other ideas. It’s a heavy movie about exploitation, so don’t watch it when you need cheering up.
3. Das Schaurige Haus (The Scary House)
If you’re into classic horror movies, you’ll be sure to enjoy “Das Schaurige Haus” (“The Scary House”). Watch as two brothers move with their family from the city to a remote town in Southern Austria, where they’re left grappling not just with hostile locals but a haunted house too.
4. Bad Luck
A tragi-comedy written and directed by Thomas Woschitz, “Bad Luck” tells three interlinked stories of people who are struggling. Lippo has been fired, Dagmar is getting thrown out of her apartment and Karl is in debt. As the characters meet at a gas station in Corinthia, you get to trace their bad decisions and the role that luck plays in determining the outcome of their lives.
5. The Ivory Game
Looking for a documentary? Follow the filmmaker and wildlife activists who made “The Ivory Game” as they infiltrate the world of ivory trafficking and take on poachers in the hopes of ending the trade. The film starts out in Tanzania and you get to see a notorious poacher being hunted and how local initiatives try to scare poachers off. It was nominated for several awards and lots of positive reviews when it was released. This movie is in English but is Austrian-made.
6. Altes Geld (Old Money)
If you enjoy the family intrigues of “Succession”, you’ll definitely want to check out “Altes Geld” (“Old Money”). It’s a dark comedy about a billionaire patriarch, Rolf Rauchensteiner, who heads a dysfunctional Viennese family. When he finds out he needs a new liver, he decides that whichever family member finds him one will inherit his billions. Watch the family unravel as they scramble to become the one and only heir to the fortune.
Head back in time to Vienna in 1886 and meet the young Sigmund Freud. “Freud” is a not entirely accurate romp through Vienna that finds the budding psychoanalyst in the center of a swirl of murder, plots and the paranormal. Watch for the intrigue and to get an insight into the city’s wild nightlife in the 19th century, but not to learn any hard facts.
What will you watch next?
No matter whether you want to learn more German or just immerse yourself in Austrian culture for a little while, switch on one of these movies or series on Netflix. For a romantic drama, choose “Was Wir Wollten”, or for a tale of familial infighting, go for the miniseries, “Altes Geld”.
Laura is a freelance writer and was an ESL teacher for eight years. She was born in the UK and has lived in Australia and Poland, where she writes blogs for Lingoda about everything from grammar to dating English speakers. She’s definitely better at the first one. She loves travelling and that’s the other major topic that she writes on. Laura likes pilates and cycling, but when she’s feeling lazy she can be found curled up watching Netflix. She’s currently learning Polish, and her battle with that mystifying language has given her huge empathy for anyone struggling to learn English. Find out more about her work in her portfolio.