From the epic film "Amundsen" to major restoration projects, a foretaste of the film programme.
The spectacular biography “Amundsen” directed by Espen Sandberg will be the opening film of the 67th edition. The international star Pål Sverre Hagen is cast in the role of the legendary and controversial Norwegian explorer, who dedicated his whole life to discovering new lands, sacrificing everything to achieve his dreams.
After having surpassed 20 thousand cinema tickets for the first time in 2018, in a city with a population of just over 100 thousand, the 67th Trento Film Festival (27 April – 5 May 2019) confirms the successful formula adopted in recent editions. The programme includes the most interesting fiction feature films set in extreme environments, chosen by the best national and international festivals, and presents new restored versions of silent movies and classic and cult films, alongside over 100 documentaries in the various sections dedicated to the many faces of the mountains.
The decision to open the festival film programme on Saturday 27 April with the Norwegian production Amundsen, a spectacular biographical epic directed by Espen Sandberg, Oscar nominee in 2012 for Kon-Tiki, in collaboration with the Norwegian Film Institute, puts the focus on exploration and adventure. The international star Pål Sverre Hagen is cast in the role of the legendary and controversial Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, who dedicated his whole life to discovering new lands, sacrificing everything to achieve his dreams. Amundsen was released in Norwegian cinemas on 15 February this year and will have its international premiere at Trento Film Festival.
The Sweet Requiem by Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam, presented at Toronto Festival in 2018, in many ways a follow on from their acclaimed film Dreaming Lhasa (2005) produced by Richard Gere, will instead have its first Italian screening. It is inspired by an incident taking place in September 2006 at the Nangpa-La pass, at an altitude of 5,800 metres on the frontier between Tibet and Nepal, when Chinese border guards fired on a group of fleeing Tibetans, killing a 17-year-old nun. Sarin and Sonam’s impassioned denunciation reiterates their commitment to supporting the Tibetan cause.
The three feature films completing the “Premieres” section arrive from the major international festivals in Berlin, Locarno and Zurich: Il mangiatore di pietre, by Nicola Bellucci with Luigi Lo Cascio, is a dark thriller set in the mountains between Italy and Switzerland, where the smugglers of times gone by today accompany fleeing migrants; Fortuna by the Swiss director Germinal Roaux, filmed on magnificent black and white film and set in a monastery at an altitude of 2000 metres on the snowy Alps, will be a chance to pay homage to the great Bruno Ganz, who recently passed away, here in one of his last roles; Yara, by the French-Iranian filmmaker Abbas Fahdel, will take the public on a journey exploring the Kadisha Valley in Lebanon. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is accessible only on foot or on the back of a mule, acting here as the backdrop for a delicate story of first love between the young protagonist and a hiker.
As traditionally takes place at Trento Film Festival, the celebration of mountain film is not however limited to contemporary film, but also pays due attention to the history of cinema, with restored versions of classics and rediscovered and cult films. Hence the riveting spectacle of a silent movie accompanied by live music returns once again this year, with Der kampf ums Matterhorn, recently restored by the Deutsches Filminstitut in Frankfurt, along with the Italian version of Der Berg Ruft, a cornerstone of the bergfilme genre, produced in Germany in 1928, but directed by the Italians Mario Bonnard and Nunzio Malasomma.
The spectacular celebration of climbing challenges and adventures, a fictional reconstruction of the first ascent of the Matterhorn by Edward Whymper, will be accompanied by the ensemble “Musica nel buio” conducted by Marco Dalpane.
From the Matterhorn, we will move on to another queen of the Alps, Mont Blanc, with the Italian premiere of the restored 1943 French film Premier de cordée by Louis Daquin, promoted by Pathé and restored at the laboratories of “L’Immagine Ritrovata” in Bologna. This is a mountain film classic from across the Alps, never previously shown in Trento, and the new restored version highlights the impressive scenery of the Mont Blanc massif, the setting for the events.
On Friday 3 May the nocturnal appointment with genre movies has also been confirmed in the programme. This year it will offer the most curious and courageous spectators Dead Mountaineer’s Hotel, a 1970s Soviet cult movie; a crazy mixture of thriller, science fiction and psychedelia directed by Grigori Kromanov. In the film, produced in Estonia but set in the Alps, restored and released courtesy of the Estonian Film Institute, police officer Glebsky prepares to spend a night in a mysterious hotel in the mountains, in the midst of the snow, with some decidedly bizarre guests who behave suspiciously and hide a secret …