6 September 2015 | GreenIsTheColor
A WWII era Alps drama
I saw the film at the Montreal international film festival. The amount of films to chose from is massive, so my main attraction to this particular one is that it is set in WWII era Austria, in a remote village in the Alps. So my expectation was to see beautiful sceneries and old villages I would probably never get to see in person. And at this front, the film doesn't disappoint. It delivers the natural beauty of the Alps, and views of some very old houses in the valleys that, according to the director, actually still exist which allowed them keep a low production budget.
It follows the struggles of the residents of a little Alps valley village against their relentless winter, the effects of war, and the constant demands of the losing Nazis, in particular Rosa's struggle after the man she loves is taken to fight along with the German side, and the village's Nazi collaborator's bothersome pursuit of her attention.
The director, along with the lead actress, were present for a Q&A after the film presentation, and according to her, it is based on a real life story of a person she met, named Rosa, who actually went through the circumstances that are portrayed in the film.
One aspect was particularly confusing to us, strangers to the culture, and that's the woman in blue, some sort of a mythical creature that oversees the valley and the lives of its inhabitants. Her role is not very clear in the film at times, and she would just seem as a solitary recluse who inhabits an icy cave, and dresses up eccentrically like a snow queen. And she was indeed the subject of many questions to the director, who clarified that she was in fact part of Alpsian folklore.
All and all, it's a nice film to watch, even though some of the events might seem a bit pushed and under-developed, the beautiful shots and the performances make up for them.