Fear for physical and physical existence, fear of loneliness, fear of death: Elias overcame all these human fears. “I got rid of the fear of people there,” writes the farmer’s son, who spends the summer in the alpine hut “Marzingrund” in Zillertal.
And when he does not go down into the valley with cattle at its end, but turns to the horror of his parents and sister and raises higher beyond the tree line, his freedom increases even more. “I have finally found my place in society,” Elias (Jacob Mader) sighs in the face of the majestic peaks, “far from it.” It is her badges like money and property.
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It’s a school drop-out drama, the story of a modern hermit told by Austrian director Adrian Goijinger in “Marzingrund”. Against the picturesque and utterly celebratory backdrop, a mountain landscape puts human existence into perspective. Which actually made it possible for many to “get away there, I’m here”.
Not to mention the mountain movie heroes and new characters like Hans Kastorp by Thomas Mann, who all saw life at high altitudes as an existential challenge and purification. So far from the bustle of the vain world, so close to yourself, to God or any other metaphysical forces.
The material is authentically told in the local dialect
Goiginger’s hero actually lived alone in the highlands of the Zillertal Alps in the 1960s, which doesn’t necessarily mean anything in cinema. More important than the original material, told in the local dialect, is the artistic honesty of the cinematic narration, which hits consistent tones in Marzingground right down to the romantic finish.
Even Goiginger’s first feature film, “The Best of All Worlds,” which won an award at the Berlinale in 2017 at the Perspektive Deutsches Kino, was influenced by his sensitive portraits. This also applies to the sensitive farmer’s son Elias, who is 18 and the best in his class, but whose father (Harald Windish) considers him a soft-spoken bookworm.
When the great farmer also buys the property of a neighbor who is indebted with debts in order to expand the farm that Elias is supposed to take over according to tradition, he only feels warm sympathy for the bankrupt. However, that does not prevent him from enthusiastically accepting the car that his father put in the yard with the phrase “Young farmer needs a car.” Having your own car in 1967 is no small feat and testifies to the pride of the farmer, but also the love of a father.
Farm theater clichés are strange about the new Al-Himat movie
The rottenness of the 1960s in the country and the impossibility of Elias’ first love for a supporter (Verina Altenburger), a thirty-year-old divorcee and a rage against a jealous mother (Gerty Grassl) – that’s what Marzingrund says in joe and not the least bit of slander. In general, country theater clichés such as those of the stubborn patriarch are alien to this new film. Only the tyrannical mother’s later style as an elderly beast with a paralyzed face gets a bit bolder.
Divided into three subtly intertwined narrative periods, the life story spans 40 years. It starts with a rescue helicopter that takes elderly Elias (Johannes Kreich) to the hospital after a meltdown. A flashback tells of his youth in the valley when he was already suffering from the onset of depression, he tells a supporter, “I feel like a stranger in the world.”
The third level is a complex of memories describing the life of Elias as a hermit. How he builds a hut from roughly hewn logs, catches fish in the stream, cooks tree bark and lichen over the fire in winter, and in the beauty of nature makes his peace with his being, which civilization has suffered as painful.
[Bundesplatz-Kino, Capitol, Delphi LUX 1-7, Hackesche Höfe Kino 1-5 (DFmenglU), International, Yorck + New Yorck]
Longing to be associated with the elements, landscapes, flora and fauna and the question of what a good life is. It is not only ingrained in school dropouts, but it is ubiquitous in the face of epidemics, wars and the climate crisis. Even now, more and more people view cities, society and the economic system as insolence.
“Märzengrund” does not offer a generally valid counter life plan. Adrian Goiginger shows very clearly that Elias and his family are paying a devastating price for his love of freedom. Radicalization also makes them anti-social. But Elias has no choice. He has to go up. Even if it cost you your life.