“The Wall (Die Wand)” is a not so well known movie written and directed by Austrian Julian Pölsler (book written by Marlen Haushofer, Audio book narrated by Kathe Mazur) that over simply stated is a story about boundaries and isolation.
This is a foreign film that is mostly in English with a smattering of German that is translated for us more linguistically challenged folks through sub-titles.
“The Wall” Spoiler Alert
If you intend to watch this movie and don’t want anything spoiled then I advise you to stop reading now and go buy “The Wall” (DVD, Paperback or Audio Book), watch or read it then come back here to read the rest of this post and share your thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to know what YOU think!
Whether you like foreign films or not this film will capture you, draw you in and make you question the literal and symbolic characteristics of isolation and how we are handle and are transformed by the stimulus or even lack of elements we take for granted every day.
As usual, there’s always a bit lost in translation and liberties taken when making a movie about a book, but the letter that the woman (played by actress Martina Gedeck (IMDB)) is authoring in the movie is almost identical to that in the book and therefore the plot minute details remain fairly well intact and of course the movie brings certain elements to life that are more difficult in written form.
In short…the woman is quite obviously looking to get away from the trials of life with her two friends Hugo and Luise along with their dog Lynx. Hugo and Luise decide to leave and go spend some time at a local pub, leaving their dog and the woman alone…and so begins the experiment in isolation.
The next day, upon inspection of the couple’s room by the woman, it becomes obvious that they never returned from town. This realization of course worries here so after a time she decides to hoof it out to town on foot to see what is amiss.
What she encounters is an invisible barrier that will not let her pass so in short she is now trapped in some form of invisible barrier with no one for companionship other than the couple’s dog.
Thus does she embark on her journey of self exploration and her ongoing exercises toward independent self sufficiency.
Now, this is the kind of story that you have to be in the right mood for. Meaning that the day you watch it or start to read the book, you need to not have to go anywhere, or have a lot of distractions going on.
This is the kind of story you want to sit down with a beer or glass of wine (or maybe four), clear your mind and quietly lose yourself in the impossible situation. If you approach it like that and then try to apply some of the lessons learned, then you’re liable to enjoy it and also draw some meaning from it.
If you allow yourself to be drawn into the story, then you’ll likely become angry in the end when a strange man makes his appearance, or when various deaths occur. That is kind of the point you know, to allow yourself to become a part of the story, to be drawn in and become invested.
It’s not for everyone, you may not like it at all. The ending especially could leave some people feeling a bit raw because it’s one of those type of stories that doesn’t provide explicit closure, allowing the watcher/reader the luxury of imagining various whats and wherefores.
If those types of stories bother you immensely then you may want to steer clear, but if you can stomach a lack of closure, then I strongly recommend this movie/book!
If you liked the story, or even if you didn’t let me know by commenting below!