Country: Austria / Germany
Movie Review: A fantastic surprise coming from Austria, “The Wall” is a poetic and very human essay on isolation and survival. It was based on Marlen Haushofer’s novel with the same name, and directed by Julian Polsler who gives here his first step out of the TV scope. A woman (Martina Gedeck) gets mysteriously trapped in a delimited mountain area that became surrounded by a transparent, preventing her from any human contact. Assuming the rest of the world is dead, her only companies were animals: Lynx, a dog that belonged to her compulsive collector friend, Hugo; Pearl, a cat that appeared in a rainy day; and Bella, the cow that helped her to survive with its milk. Her concern for the animals took a considerable weight from her back, since she didn’t think so much in herself or in the abominable situation she was. In order to help her state of mind, she decided to create a kind of report where she annotated all the relevant occurrences that might happen. Her voice and occasional excerpts of Bach’s classical music were the only break of the forest’s heavy silences. Efficiently narrated and acted by Martina Gedeck, and dazzling us with its sharp cinematography, “The Wall”, created a prison that made me feel frustrated rather than claustrophobic. I was absorbed during all the film, which only came to an end when the paper was over and Gedeck was forced to stop writing. This lyrical mystery tale, winner of Ecumenical Jury’s prize at Berlin, comes with the stamp ‘required watching’.