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The Wall

3.7 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Martina Gedeck, star of the Academy Award(R)-winning film The Lives Of Others, brings a vivid intensity to this mysterious and riveting tale of survival set in a spectacularly beautiful Austrian mountain landscape. In a tour-de-force performance, Gedeck stars as an unnamed character who suddenly finds herself cut off from all human contact when an invisible, unyielding wall inexplicably surrounds the countryside where she is vacationing. Accompanied by her loyal dog Lynx, she becomes immersed in a world untouched by civilization and ruled by the laws of nature. As she grapples with her bizarre circumstances, she begins an inward journey of spiritual growth and transcendence. Based on Marlen Haushofer's eponymous classic novel, The Wall is a gorgeous, mesmerizing adventure film that raises profound questions about humanity, solitude, and our relationship to the natural world.

Product Details

  • Actors: Martina Gedeck
  • Directors: Julian Roman Pölsler
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Music Box Films
  • DVD Release Date: October 22, 2013
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00E1RTCE8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,174 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Directed by Julian Pölsler, award-winning German actress Martina Gedeck stars in this riveting, allegorical tale of survival set in the spectacular Austrian countryside. Exquisite cinematography propels this puzzling and thoughtful story of isolation and its impact on the human spirit as it is forced to rejoin the breathtaking but indifferent natural world.

Naturally I thought of Stephen King's "THE DOME" (both the book and the cheap looking, seemingly endless CBS series with the god-awful music) as the movie began. But this is a different take on a similar premise with superior satisfaction and rewards for the viewer.

Gedeck delivers a tour-de-force performance as she endures all kinds of physical and psychological challenges when she discovers, to her horror, that she is trapped behind an invisible, impenetrable wall in a remote mountain area. This compelling, mind-bending adventure that's seasoned with philosophical, psychological and sci-fi elements kept me involved.

Based on Marlen Haushofer's highly-praised 1962 novel (the only novel of her works to be translated into English), THE WALL is the story of Gedeck's unnamed character -- The Woman -- who is vacationing in the stunning Austrian mountains when an invisible wall suddenly and inexplicably encompasses the countryside and cuts her off from the civilization she left behind. Though the blue sky, chirping birds and surrounding nature appear to be normal, The Woman is in fact cut of from all human contact and separated from the rest of the world. With her loyal dog Lynx as a sole companion, The Woman becomes immersed and enmeshed in a pristine world hardly touched by civilization and ruled only by the laws of nature, which prove to be both benign and dangerous.
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Format: DVD
"Die Wand" is a 2013 Seattle International Film Festival entry from Germany (in English). It is directed by much-admired Julian Pölsler (many awards and nominations throughout Europe) whose work is primarily seen on German television. Adapted from the classic novel by Marlen Haushofer, this is a masterful performance done almost in solitude by a wonderful actress.

A woman is going to visit some friends who drop her off at their cabin, then go back into town to buy some more supplies. Their dog Lynx stays with her, even though there is no love lost between her and the dog.

We are enthralled by:
* Martina Gedeck ("Mostly Martha" and "The Lives of Others") is the poor gal who, after taking the dog for a walk in the woods, finds herself trapped by an invisible wall and neither she nor the dog can get out. Her friends are nowhere to be seen and she is now absolutely alone except for Lynx.

This tour de force shows us what Ms. Gedeck can do with NO makeup, NO love story, NO telephones, NO car crashes and NO Computer Generated Imaging. (There ARE three gunshots.) Her solitude is almost palpable, she never speaks, the only narrative comes as a voiceover when she is writing in her journal on scraps of paper she has found in her friends' cabin. She first writes with a pen, then with pencil, and finally is down to a stub. I couldn't help but worry about her supply of bullets, kerosene and matches. Eventually, her main concern becomes how to keep her humanity.

Filmed in the area around Salzkammergut, Austria, the scenery is breathtaking, the weather is chilly, and her spectacular surroundings emphasize her isolation. A cat shows up, along with a cow, so this foursome becomes almost inseparable.
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The topic of a person alone in the wilderness is not new. Yet this movie’s story was moving, and as another reviewer mentioned, it has many levels, the psychological, the allegorical and spiritual implications of what it means to be alone, who we allow ourselves to become in our aloness and our connection to nature. The woman’s bond to her animals was at first a “prison” of obligations that later turned into her greatest love. The animals, with their constant joy, lack of worries and loyal devotion saved her by giving her a reason to live. And deep love, as the beloved author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings wrote in Cross Creek, "...is a commitment to shared sorrow, even as to shared joy."

As I watched this movie my thoughts kept racing in different directions. I once lived alone in a forest, and although not cut off from civilization, could relate to living in the wilderness, the raw beauty, the mental and physical challenges, the communion with earth.

As a psychotherapist I also work with many individuals that could relate, the broken-hearted, the divorced, the widows and aged and those that live alone and have no family. I kept thinking about the many people that could identify with her situation, who feel alone even in the busy midst of civilization and all its trappings- who never stop long enough to truly discover themselves. And as a bereavement counselor for pet parents who have lost their pets, and as an animal lover, the loving scenes and the tragic scenes with her beloved pets were expertly portrayed. Hard to watch was the deer that was shot-I believe that was real- and the only negative in an otherwise good movie, if indeed a live animal was killed.
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