The Wall

Die Wand

Austria | 2012 | 108 minutes | Julian Roman Pölsler

After returning from a summer walk in the Austrian woods with her dog, a woman is shocked that an invisible wall prevents her from leaving the forest, where she becomes determined to survive and record her thoughts. Based on Marlen Haushofer’s classic novel.

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Martina Gedeck (The Lives of Others) enthralls as the single human left alive in the remote Alps after an apocalyptic event, in this adaptation of Marlen Haushofer's 1962 dystopian novel. Forcefully blocked not only from city life but humanity itself by an invisible wall, the unnamed woman documents her daily routine, which she shares with a few farm animals, in a journal. Her story is told here in an effective voiceover. The woman's new life is contemplative and monotonous, although punctuated by moments of high anxiety and spiritual sublimity. Nightmares begin to creep into her psyche as she endures the seasonal changes year after year. Gedeck artfully carries the full weight of the minimalist source material and Julian Pölsler's equally challenging film. Snow-dusted mountains melt into shimmering springtime, as the woman is seen basking against tree trunks or in lush meadows. Insects flutter around her in rays of sunlight; her dog is always nearby. Cricket calls and birdsong are louder than ever before. The woman's account of survival is ultimately a story of rediscovering personality and strength among the sometimes-harsh essentialities of nature.

Director Biography
Julian Roman Pölsler studied Directing and Production at the Vienna Film Academy. He has been making TV movies for over 20 years. He currently teaches at the Konservatorium of the City of Vienna and the Vienna University of Technology. His movie The Wall (2012) won at the Berlin International Film Festival and was featured at festivals around the world, including SIFF.

Sponsored in part by Center for West European Studies

Director: Julian Roman Pölsler
Principal Cast: Martina Gedeck, Ulrike Beimpold, Karlheinz Hackl, Wolfgang M. Bauer, Julia Gschnitzer, Hans-Michael Rehberg
Country: Austria, Germany
Year: 2012
Running Time: 108 minutes
Producer: Antonin Svoboda, Martin Gschlacht, Bruno Wagner, Rainer Kölmel, Wasiliki Bleser
Screenplay: Julian Roman Pölsler
Cinematographers: Markus Fraunholz, Martin Gschlacht, Bernhard Keller, Helmut Pirnat, Hans Selikovsky, Richi Wagner
Editors: Thomas Kohler, Bettina Mazakarini
Awards: Berlin Film Festival 2012 (Prize of the Ecumenical Jury)
Filmography: Debut Feature Film
Language: English, German
Format: DCP
US Distributor: Music Box Films
International Sales: The Match Factory
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