Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
35 Films That Could Become Foreign Language Oscar Submissions 35 Films That Could Become Foreign Language Oscar Submissions Eight Films Submitted for Consideration as German Oscar Entry Eight Films Submitted for Consideration as German Oscar Entry EXCLUSIVE TRAILER: In Brazilian Drama 'The Moving Creatures' Daily Life Unfolds in Unique Ways EXCLUSIVE TRAILER: In Brazilian Drama 'The Moving Creatures' Daily Life Unfolds in Unique Ways 15 Films That Could Become Mexico's Oscar Entry 15 Films That Could Become Mexico's Oscar Entry Asian World Film Festival Adds East West Artists’ Jaeson Ma as Director of International Relations Asian World Film Festival Adds East West Artists’ Jaeson Ma as Director of International Relations Legendary Actress Rita Moreno Will Be Part of the 6th Annual Loft Film Fest Legendary Actress Rita Moreno Will Be Part of the 6th Annual Loft Film Fest China’s First English-Speaking Sci-Fi Film 'Lost in the the Pacific' Garners International Pre-Sales China’s First English-Speaking Sci-Fi Film 'Lost in the the Pacific' Garners International Pre-Sales Join Matthew Cooke, Adrian Grenier, & Deepak Chopra For The Film That Will Help to Change the Inhumane US Prison System Join Matthew Cooke, Adrian Grenier, & Deepak Chopra For The Film That Will Help to Change the Inhumane US Prison System 'Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet' is a Cinematic Out-Of-Body Experience Brimming with Animated Wisdom 'Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet' is a Cinematic Out-Of-Body Experience Brimming with Animated Wisdom Meryl Streep's Screenwriting Lab for Women Over 40 Reveals Participants Meryl Streep's Screenwriting Lab for Women Over 40 Reveals Participants Hollyshorts Fest Opens With New Clip From Eli Roth's The Green Inferno Hollyshorts Fest Opens With New Clip From Eli Roth's The Green Inferno Exclusive Interview: Jean-Pierre Jeunet on Harvey Weinstein's Antics, 'T.S. Spivet,' and 'Casanova' Exclusive Interview: Jean-Pierre Jeunet on Harvey Weinstein's Antics, 'T.S. Spivet,' and 'Casanova' Exclusive: Epic Pictures' Award-winning 'Jeruzalem' U.S. Premiere Slated for August 23rd Exclusive: Epic Pictures' Award-winning 'Jeruzalem' U.S. Premiere Slated for August 23rd LatinoBuzz: Duo Ben Odell and Eugenio Derbez of 3Pas Studios LatinoBuzz: Duo Ben Odell and Eugenio Derbez of 3Pas Studios Salma Hayek on 'Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet': 'His Poetry Talks About the Simple Things in Life That Unite Us All" Salma Hayek on 'Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet': 'His Poetry Talks About the Simple Things in Life That Unite Us All" Jeunet's Disarmingly Imaginative 'The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet' Analyzes American Duality with Dark Undertones and Awe-Inspiring 3D Cinematography Jeunet's Disarmingly Imaginative 'The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet' Analyzes American Duality with Dark Undertones and Awe-Inspiring 3D Cinematography Cannes'15: Jane Fonda, Olivia de Havilland and Megan Ellison to Receive 'Women in Motion' Honor Awards Cannes'15: Jane Fonda, Olivia de Havilland and Megan Ellison to Receive 'Women in Motion' Honor Awards 30 Essential Iranian Films to Watch in Honor of Nowruz (Persian New Year)! 30 Essential Iranian Films to Watch in Honor of Nowruz (Persian New Year)! Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - The Americas Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - The Americas LatinoBuzz: Interview With Actor Richard Cabral of 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones' LatinoBuzz: Interview With Actor Richard Cabral of 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones'

Foreign Oscar Entry Review: The Wall (Die Wand)

Photo of Carlos Aguilar By Carlos Aguilar | SydneysBuzz October 27, 2013 at 2:46PM

The Wall, Austria’s Submission for the Academy Award Nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. U.S. : Music Box Films. International Sales Agent: Starhaus Filmproduktion GMBH
1
Julian Pölsler's 'The Wall'
Julian Pölsler's 'The Wall'

The Wall, Austria’s Submission for the Academy Award Nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. U.S. : Music Box Films. International Sales Agent: Starhaus Filmproduktion GMBH

Book-to-film adaptations are known to be tricky affairs. Furthermore, such complexity of translating a text into its visual counterpart becomes more challenging when the written piece is limited in space, characters and dialogue.  Director-writer-actor Julian Roman Pölsler’s devotion for Marlen Haushofer’s novel drove him to create a film that could have easily been deemed “uncinematic”. The story deals with profound existential questions via a woman who is stranded in the woods by an invisible barrier, and who must survive a life of emotional starvation with a group of animals as her only company. Almost completely dialogue-free, the journey is one of fully narrated metaphors and poetry by her as she writes to keep track of time and of her thoughts. What could have become something bland is rescued by the subtly of the images and passages that turn it into an almost Biblical odyssey.

After waking up alone in a lodge in the middle of the woods in the Austrian countryside, an unnamed woman (played by Martina Gedeck of Jude Suss and The Baader Meinhof Complex) searches for her friends, an older couple that she accompanied on this trip. As she walks through the roads followed by her loyal dog Lynx, she discovers a bizarre obstacle on her path; there is a wall, transparent and unbreakable. Soon enough, and after seeing other people on the other side of the wall who are not aware of her existence, she realizes that she is boxed in with limited supplies and no idea of what is happening.

The Wall Poster

As her hopes of being rescued by someone in the “outside” fade away, the woman begins to forcefully develop her primeval survival instincts. She is now exposed to the rules of nature; therefore, she slowly turns into an avid hunter and farmer, but not without a great deal of guilt, doubt, and loneliness. Her journey to self-discovery is plagued with circumstances that are mostly foreign for most living in the developed world. This woman, a city girl, must now face the elements and tough labor, yet, perhaps the most devastating enemy in her new habitat, is the immense silence and lack of human contact that coerce her to think about death.

A 108-minute audiovisual poem is what the director has crafted with The Wall . Said wall becomes irrelevant as the story develops. The woman’s self-imposed boundaries, as those imposed by everyone else onto himself or herself, are what define her as human even when surrounded by beasts.

She is still remorseful to kill, she leans onto the joyfulness of Lynx or her other animals for hope, and once she forgets about the parameters by which the world defines humanity, her animals acquire more value than those granted humanity by birth. In other words, her fellow men become more foreign than the uncertainty, and seemingly terrifying forces of untamed nature. The film includes deep philosophical inquiries; however, it is hidden under an intriguing work of art that although pensive and contained, packs luscious beauty.

There is more to this film that one can possibly cover in a review. The intricate connections it makes with everything that shapes the human experience really stimulates the mind. This woman and the relentless wall represent the constant battle to find meaning, to find significance in the insignificance of one human life, which is all anyone is ever given. She pities mankind because we are intelligent enough to resist our own innate flaws and wants; on the other hand, she hails love as the only hope for a better life, which is unimaginably touching as her world is so crippled with isolation, undoubtedly one must agree.

This is a brave cinematic statement about the human condition. It’s probably one of the most demanding experiences a viewer can have, as it asks for one to link the vast landscapes, the sounds of nature, the woman’s struggle, and the poetry of her writing into one cohesive piece of information. Still, it is worth it. Also, Gedeck carries the film on her shoulders only aided by her relationship with a dog, two cats, and a cow; that’s is a remarkable achievement. The Wall is not for those who want an easy walk in the park from a movie , but for those willing to give into its powerful message, a reward awaits in the form of thought-provoking conversations.

Review First Published on

Filmophilia.com

Read more about all the 76 Best Foreign Language Film Submission for the 2014 Academy Awards


This article is related to: The Wall, Julian Roman Pölsler, Austria , Martina Gedeck, Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award , Academy Awards, Oscar Academy Award, International Film Business, International Film Festival, International Film Market, International Sales Agent

E-Mail Updates