Vienna, 1900. Time of the Austro-Hungarian regime. Everyday life is constituted by honour, pride, duels, suppressed individuality and outworn hierarchies. With World War I already on the doorstep and antisemitism becoming socially acceptable, the spirit of the German Empire is rapidly crumbling. In this troubled times, Lieutenant Gustl, a young and disoriented k. & k. officer, is deeply offended in his honor: He was called a stupid boy by a baker (Nicholas Ofzarek).

Since his opponent isn’t a member of the military, and therefore the conflict cannot be resolved by a duel, there is only one way to restore his honour: suicide.

Witness Lieutenant Gustl’s stream of consciousness as he is drifting through a sleepless night in search for a viable escape. But as the day breaks, there comes the hour of truth.

Of course Lieutenant Gustl is more than a nostalgic reminiscence of long gone days. A hundred years later we find ourselves in a quite familiar situation: In desperate need to frame our own identity, we are longing for authenticity and a binding reference system in face of the overwhelming possibilities of the present. And in search for orientation parts of our society are calling for border walls and identifiable enemies.


The young man’s existential conflict – originally composed as an internal monologue –, provides an ideal template to be told by means of virtual reality. Theater, film director and author Sebastian Brauneis embarks on a journey into the digital space with a top-class ensemble of Austrian film and theater actors. In order to tell his protagonist’s story, he pairs the power of stagecraft with cinematic and digital storytelling, while the original monologue is divided between Gustl (Lukas Watzl) and a shadowy character (Christoph Radakovits) who eventually turns out as his alter ego.