"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. Her survival instincts demand that she learn how to plant potatoes, gut a deer, milk a cow, help deliver a calf, cut hay for the winter, and shoot a gun. You should see the look on the dog's face the first time she shoots the gun and misses the deer!
BTW, both of those movies in brackets are HIGHLY recommended. Get all of them from Amazon.