A year on an Alpine farm: an older couple have two children, Belli, who wanted to be a teacher, and the younger Franzi, deaf, and although he works like a man, child-like. Belli teaches him...
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Manoel de Oliveira
Cécile Sanz de Alba,
Luís Miguel Cintra
A year on an Alpine farm: an older couple have two children, Belli, who wanted to be a teacher, and the younger Franzi, deaf, and although he works like a man, child-like. Belli teaches him. In his work, he can become frustrated, so when he throws an expensive mower over a cliff in a fit of pique, his father banishes him to the outskirts of the farm, where he uses pubescent energy to break rocks and build walls and cairns. (It's the tradition of the father's family, called "The Irascibles" by neighbors, to spend puberty doing this.) Belli visits him and they begin sleeping together. By winter, the boy is back in the house and Belli is pregnant. Soon her parents must know.Written by
"Hoehenfeuer" intimately shows the powerful and sad story of a family in the Swiss alps, living far from the next village, and its deaf son who not only feels trapped in his lack of hearing but also in the narrow-minded context of the family.
Its beautiful camera shows the alps how they really are (or at least were): the old snow, the sleeping trees, the cold, wet air, the hard life.
The film is gnarled like the old trees standing there and looking at what these poor people do, how the story inevitably goes where it has to go.
If you say "drama in the winter alps", I say "Hoehenfeuer" for sure.
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