“Gangster Girls by Tina Leisch is testimony to how truly invaluable the use of theater work can be in an Austrian penitentiary, the women’s prison in Schwarzau. The formal trick of masking the protagonists allows the film to unmask a legal system and its execution. We bestow this film with our honorable mention and wish it many viewers!”
Jury of the Vienna Film Price

“With Gangster Girls, the Viennale has actually been able to make an Austrian discovery: Perhaps it is not perfect, but this documentary film by emerging director Tina Leisch remains interesting throughout, offering fascinating insight into an Austrian women’s prison.”
Michael Höck,

“Gangster Girls (Tina Leisch) is the most fascinating discovery among the documentary films coming out of Austria at this year’s Viennale. Inmates at the women’s prison Schwarzau with thick layers of make-up on their faces perform stories on the stage, in the kitchen, the sewing room, and in the cells. Are they their stories, and where does the theater start?”
Salzburger Nachrichten online / 17 October 2008

“Right from the start, this film reveals more than simply overcoming the contradiction between visual chronicle and the necessity of anonymity: Mouths, faces disappear under heavy, skillfully applied make-up; hair is hidden under wigs or caps. In this way, people become fictional characters to a certain extent, but the circumstances under which they live remain real.”
Isabella Reicher, Der Standard / 17 October 2008

“Gangster Girls—the artistic product of months of close collaboration is now available, impressive, disturbing, touching, maybe even beguiling.”
Barbara Huemer, Augustin online  10/2008

“With Gangster Girls, Tina Leisch sets new standards in the cinematic exploration of the Austrian penal system.”
Ramón Reichert, Viennale Falter ‘08

“The film opens a whole new perspective for everybody involved.”
Julia Pühringer, Kurier online / 20 October 2008