Notes from the Underworld

  • Austria
Audio Tracks

This unique document of an era centers on the Viennese singer Kurt Girk (1932-2019) and his buddy Alois Schmutzer, the “king of the underworld.” Girk’s connections with illegal gambling led to this much-loved interpreter of popular folk songs becoming known as the Frank Sinatra of Austria. Butcher Alois was one of his best friends, a strapping bear of a man who didn’t need a gun to rub someone out.


  • Original Title
    Aufzeichnungen aus der Unterwelt
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
    Rainer Frimmel
  • Cast
    Kurt Girk, Alois Schmutzer
  • Cinematography
    Rainer Frimmel
  • Editing
    Tizza Covi
  • Sound
    Tizza Covi
  • Runtime
    116 min (91+ min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • Austria
  • Format
    • Black & White
  • Festivals
    • Berlinale
    • Cinéma du réel
    • Festival dei Popoli Florence
    • IDFA
    • War on Screen Int. Film Festival
    • Gijon IFF
    • Viennale
    • Duisburger Filmwoche
    • Strasbourg FF
    • Schwandorf Doc
    • Lubljana Doc
    • Graz Diagonale
    • Dokumentarfilmwoche Hamburg
  • Awards
    • Special Mention (Berlinale Documentary Film Award)
    • Special Award of the Jury (Dijon Int. Film Festival)
    • Best Documentary (Romy Academy Award)
    • Best Production (Romy Academy Award)


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