Film Archive


The Magic Mountain

87 minutes
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Anca Damian, Guillaume de Seille, Joanna Ronnikier
Anca Damian
Alexander Balanescu
Ion Ioachim Stroe
Theodore Ushev, Sergiu Negulici, Raluca Popa, Dan Panaitescu and Tomek Ducki
Anca Damian, Anna Winkler
Frédéric Théry, Sebastian Wlodarczyk

“Sometimes I feel I wasn’t made for these times.” This laconic statement of the protagonist of Anca Damian’s second animated documentary defines his position early in the narrative: somehow off kilter. Adam Jacek Winkler, Polish photographer, anti-communist dissident, mountain climber and artist, is a restless spirit, always on the lookout for the noble cause worth fighting and dying for. A modern Don Quixote, whose obsession takes him to Afghanistan where he joins the Mujahidin’s fight against the Red Army. It’s a romantic and torn hero the director portrays here, combining material from Winkler’s personal archive (photos, sketches, videos) with the stylistic wealth of artistic animation, including collages, graphically distorted film and photo material, drawings, plasticine animations or simply painted paper folded into mountains. The various techniques address the various situations, managing to translate the protagonist’s emotional world into a highly original filmic reality, sometimes surreal, sometimes absurd and bitter. “The Magic Mountain” is the second part of a planned trilogy about modern heroes whose third and last instalment this cinematic experience gives us every reason to look forward to. Mattias Heeder

MDR Film Prize 2015

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