De Facto

For her second feature-length film, director Selma Doborac turns her attention to a difficult question: How can cinema grapple with perpetrators, extreme violence, state terror and testimonies relating to these without conniving with them?
De Facto rejects direct representation to this end; nor is it remotely interested in re-enactment, whereby real perpetrators reproduce their crimes in front of the camera. Instead, the director works with two actors, Christoph Bach and Cornelius Obonya, places them in a pavilion in a park at a table designed by artist Heimo Zobernig and has them deliver texts in long, precisely composed shots and in isolation from one another, the out-of-frame addressees of which can be inferred. Passages from verdict statements, perpetrator statements, witness testimonies, confessions by whistleblowers and the occasional philosophical text are woven together. At times, it is almost unbearable to listen to. De Facto is undoubtedly challenging for viewers, but not as an end in itself; by pursuing an analytical interest, it creates possibilities for insight.
by Selma Doborac
with Christoph Bach, Cornelius Obonya
Austria / Germany 2023 German 130’ Colour World premiere | Documentary Form


  • Christoph Bach
  • Cornelius Obonya


Director Selma Doborac
Screenplay Selma Doborac
Cinematography Klemens Hufnagl
Editing Selma Doborac
Music Didi Kern, Philipp Quehenberger
Sound Claus Benischke-Lang
Sound Mixing Jochen Jezussek
Colour Correction Andi Winter
Production Design Selma Doborac Objektts by Heimo Zobernig and Franz West
Costumes Selma Doborac
Make-Up Parnia Sarraf
Casting Ulrike Müller
Producer Selma Doborac
Executive Producer Selma Doborac

Produced by

Selma Doborac

Selma Doborac

Born in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1982, she studied mixed media art strategies as well as film art in Vienna where she lives and works as a film director and scriptwriter. Following Those Shocking Shaking Days (2016), De Facto is her second feature-length film.


2004 K bis D. A oder B. (K to D. A or B.); 12 min. 2005 Die Abgewandte (The Abandoned); 5 min. 2006 Showtime; 2 min. 2008 Einsicht Durchsicht Aussicht (Examination Intimitation Prospect); 25 min. 2012 Es war ein Tag wie jeder andere im Frühling oder Sommer. (It was a day just like any other in spring or summer.); 17 min. 2015 Hotel Alfa Romeo Uniform November Foxtrot Alfa Romeo Oscar Charlie Kilo India; 2 min. 2016 Those Shocking Shaking Days; 88 min. 2023 De Facto; 130 min.

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2023