3 user 6 critic

Invisible Adversaries (1977)

Unsichtbare Gegner (original title)
Anna, an artist, is obsessed with the invasion of alien doubles bent on total destruction. Her schizophrenia is reflected in the juxtapositions of long movie camera takes with violently ... See full summary »


Valie Export




Cast overview:
Susanne Widl Susanne Widl ... Anna
Peter Weibel Peter Weibel ... Peter
Josef Plavec Josef Plavec ... (as Dr. Josef Plavec)
Monica Helfer-Friedrich Monica Helfer-Friedrich
Helke Sander Helke Sander
Dominick Dusek Dominick Dusek
Herbert Schmid Herbert Schmid
Edward Neversal Edward Neversal


Anna, an artist, is obsessed with the invasion of alien doubles bent on total destruction. Her schizophrenia is reflected in the juxtapositions of long movie camera takes with violently edited montages: private with public spaces; black & white with colour, still photographs with video, earsplitting sounds with disruptive camera angles. Anna uses her body like a map; after a devastating quarrel with her lover, she paints red stitches on herself. Watching their scenes together, we realize how seldom, if ever before, the details of sexual intimacy have been shown in film from the point of view from a woman. Export privileges rupture over unity and never settles for one-dimensional solutions (Artforum, Nov. 1980) Written by Sixpack Film <office@sixpackfilm.com>

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User Reviews

A lot of fun, if you REALLY like art films
27 January 2004 | by nikteslamodernwonderSee all my reviews

I generally like art films, but this one kind of tried my patience.

I went in, like others, thinking that this was going to be some sort of alien invasion flick. That's at least what the movie's write-up in the film-series pamphlet had me believe. What I got instead was a bizarre movie about a woman going crazy.

First, the good.

I liked the art in this movie. I guess you gotta have art to have an art film, and that's where this movie really delivers. There are many great collages and juxtapositions, both in the central character's work (she is an artist), as well as in the filming techniques of the movie itself. Also present is some really neat and disturbing footage involving food, a la Svankmajer.

Now, the bad.

Ok, so, this is definitely not an alien invasion movie. In fact, there is very little plot. Basically, this artist woman has a boyfriend who is a total jerk. Instead of just breaking up, they stay together and fight a bunch. She's obsessed with the notion that aliens called the Hyksos are invading the earth and taking over people's brains. He's completely obsessed with "the system," and all this Chomsky-esque philosophizing about how we're all being screwed. If you've spent any amount time on a college campus, you've heard it all before. Anyway, this was the only logical sense I was able to make from the whole film - they both believe in the existence of "Invisible Adversaries." Oh yeah, and at some point, she's diagnosed schizophrenic. While this made sense, I didn't really want to accept it because it was too much of an easy explanation.

Also, the movie contains some random discourses on Austrian architecture and politics, which did nothing for me, since I know nothing of either.

So if you REALLY like art films, I would say watch this one just for the art. Otherwise, you may want to spend the two or so hours watching something more plot-driven.

Or maybe I've just been taken over by the Hyksos.

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Release Date:

December 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Adversários Invisíveis See more »

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