Top positive review
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Stunning yet simple existential tale.
on 30 November 2013
Original title was `Die Wand' and is based on the book by Marlen Haushoffer. The plot is pretty simple in that three people go to a hunting lodge up in the mountains of Austria. Frau is left when her companions go to the village for provisions; she falls asleep and in the morning realise they have not returned. After a while she sets out to find them only to discover she has been surrounded by an impenetrable yet invisible wall.
Once the shock has worn off she has to take stock and all she really has in the loyal dog Luchs ( named as Lynx on IMDB!). She is telling her story through the words she has written in her journal and as she slowly runs out of paper we are brought closer to the present day. What follows in a haunting, mesmerising and totally enthralling film. Though the dialogue is minimal, as you would expect having no one to talk to, the narrative is just so compelling it carries the story. The acting by Martina Gedeck (`The Lives of others') is amazing, the animals were pretty impressive too, especially Lynx. There are some scenes of apparent animal cruelty so please be advised as I know that can be upsetting.
This though is simply beautiful, a story pared to the bone yet done so leaving only what is essential and it is a visual feast. All sci - fi has to have an element of the existential and this is all about the basic drive that keeps us going, even when it all seems futile. In German with good subs, directed by Julian Polsler who seems to have done most of his work for TV, I think that with this unexpectedly brilliant piece of cinema he can say he is more than ready to bring something unique and special to the `big' screen.