Martina Gedeck, best known for her performance in the Academy Award-winning film The Lives of Others, now stars in The Wall, a contemporary female Robinson Crusoe story. Based on Marlen Haushofer’s best-selling eponymous novel from the 1960s, the film is a highly original exploration of the experience of solitude and survival.
Gedeck plays an unnamed Austrian woman who goes to a secluded Alpine hunting lodge with her cousin (Ulrike Beimpold) and the latter's husband (Karl Heinz Hackl) who, shortly after their arrival, decide to visit the nearest village. When the couple does not return the next morning the woman sets out for the village and discovers an invisible wall, behind which there appears to be no sign of life. The wall now separates her from the rest of the world. Left behind with a dog, a cat and a cow, she must try to survive alone in the forest. She keeps a record of her thoughts, her fears and the hardship she suffers although nobody might ever read her outpourings. Martina Gedeck's outstanding performance brings the role to a rare and vivid intensity.
WINNER OF THE ECUMENICAL PRIZE – Berlinale Panorama 2012
LOLA FOR BEST SOUND, German Film Awards 2013
Julian Roman Pölsler Director
Born in Styria in Austria in 1954, Julian Pölsler studied directing at the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts and at the Institute for Cultural Management, subsequently working as an assistant director. A director of a number of award winning film and television productions since 1982, and of operas since 2006, he also teaches at various Austrian universities and colleges.
The Wall was premiered in the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival in 2012, where it won the ecumenical prize.
2011 The Wall
2009 Anna und der Prinz
2007 Bella Block
2006 Daniel Käfer und die Schattenuhr
2005 Daniel Käfer und die Villen der Frau Hürsch
2004 Hubert von Goisern TRAD 2
2002 Himmel Polt und Hölle1
2001 Blumen für Polt, Sommer und Bolten
Karl Heinz Hackl
Wolfgang Maria Bauer
Directed and Written by Julian Roman Pölsler
Based on the novel by Marlen Haushofer
Image J. R. P. Altmann, Christian Berger, Markus Fraunholz, Martin Gschlacht, Bernhard Keller, Helmut Pirnat, Hans Selikovsky, Thomas Tröger, Richi Wagner
Editing Bettina Mazakarini, Natalie Schwager, Thomas Kohler
Sound Uve Haussig, Gregor Kienel, Markus Kathriner
Sound Design Johannes Konecny, Marcel Spisak, Achim Hofmann, Philipp Mosser, Nils Kirchhoff
Line Producer Jimmy C. Gerum
Production Manager Bruno Wagner
Produced by Rainer Koelmel, Antonin Svoboda, Martin Gschlacht, Wasiliki Bleser
A Coop99 Filmproduktion, Starhaus Filmproduktion production, in association with BR, Arte, with the participation of ORF.
2011, colour, 35 mm and DCP, 108’
★★★★ 'Gedeck gives a solo tour-de-force...mesmerising...utterly immersive' Trevor Johnston Time Out
'a work of rare elegance...riveting from start to finish... The photography ...is stunning... Above all, The Wall is an act of bearing witness to a woman's struggle, to nature, to everyday life and how it escapes our grasp.'
Catherine Wheatley, Sight and Sound
‘Mesmerizing, beguiling, elegantly shot …a coolly rendered and subtle meditation on what life is and what life is for…deeply moving German sci-fi’
'No matter, however, what allegorical import you bring to the wall, the Woman's gradual adjustment to subsistence against the elements, and her journey through despair, loss and madness towards acceptance, serenity and love, take on a decidedly spiritual dimension – without God ever getting so much as a mention. It is a stunning achievement, with some of the images of the Woman in her Alpine locations convincingly framed to resemble the sublime mystic landscapes of the painter Caspar David Friedrich.'
'Julian Roman Pölsler’s imposing film adaptation of Marlen Haushofer’s The Wall (Die Wand): a quiet masterpiece of natural space and inner discovery...' Werner Reisinger, The Vienna Review Read the full review
'...absorbing... The photography is often lovely, and Ms. Gedeck convincingly portrays a woman who as the ordeal stretches on month after month seems to be gradually losing her individuality and blending into the landscape.' Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times Read the full review
Gedeck’s reading constitutes a remarkable vocal performance, and her physical presence is also impressive. The mountainous countryside is pure, uncomputerized nature... “The Wall” winds up as a captivating fable, an end-times scenario that’s more about the survival of the spirit than the body.' Farran Smith Nehme, The New York Post Read the full review
Pölsler's high concept drama, which blends the very best of elements Tarkovsky-style sci-fi with sumptuous vistas, courtesy of the same rolling slopes that hosted Robert Wise's The Sound of Music (1965)...are nothing short of breathtaking. Not only has Pölsler produced one of this year's most existentially challenging sci-fi-infused dramas - he's also partly responsible for the most visually pleasing."
★★★★"Martina Gedeck is spellbinding in the lead role and delivers a master class in acting. UK audiences will know her best from the 2006 Academy Award winning film The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen), but she eclipses that performance here. She is able to communicate so much emotion in her gestures and eyes. This, coupled with the powerful voice over narration makes her character almost impossible not to empathise with and to care about."