Die Wand wants to reveal the essence of the human conditions. Poets, philosophers and writers of all stripes have been trying for millennia to crystalize for us how to live the good live. So let’s admit it: just coming close to what the great minds have said about this without plagiarizing every word is a tall feat.
I am sad to report that this Austrian entry based on the 1963 book by Marlen Haushofer is very disappointing. After 30 minutes, I came very close to leaving the film although the scenery of Austrian Alps is breathtakingly beautiful. The film in essence does not say more than: “The only way to not feel painfully isolated in this universe is to love and be loved.” This is hardly a new insight. A middle-aged women (Martina Gedeck) travels with a husband and wife to their remote lodge in the Alps. The couple wants to run a quick errand into the village but does not return. Next day our heroine discovers that in invisible glass wall has been erected cutting her off from civilization for rest of her life. We follow her for the next three years during which is tries to learn to cope with her isolation and become friends with a dog, two cats and a cow, who take on almost the role of other human beings. Instead of suffering through this film, I have a better idea for you: Book a weekend in the Alps and go hiking. Take with you a copy of Franz Kafka’s Methamporphosis. It is a much better attempt to show describe how painful it would be if you no longer can communicate with the human beings who typically surround you.