The Dark Valley | Feature Film | Alpine Western

The Dark Valley | Feature Film | Alpine Western

The Dark Valley – Alpine western, a feature film with depth. Set in a remote valley in the South Tyrolean mountains at the end of the 19th century, the film Das finstere Tal – The Dark Valley impresses with an exciting story and aesthetic landscape shots of mountain panoramas.

Django Unchained meets Das weiße Band meets Via Mala – Austrian director Andreas Prochaska succeeds in merging the Western genre with social studies and Heimatfilm. The result is a gripping movie. A stranger suddenly appears in a small Tyrolean mountain village. In the best Western manner, he rides into the village. Greider, played by Sam Riley (Ian Curtis in Control) is a young man with a foreign accent who claims to come from America. The men in the village are dismissively suspicious of the stranger. A dark secret lies over the high valley.

Greider rides into the dark valley.
Greider rides into the dark valley.

Greider, who has a score to settle here, poses as a photographer and is promptly accommodated on the farm of the widow Gader and her daughter Luzi, who is about to be married. While the alpine village community waits for the big celebration, strange things happen and people die.

Greider photographs the snow-covered mountains.
Greider photographs the snow-covered mountains.
Mother and daughter with worried expressions.
Mother and daughter with worried expressions.
Two villains of the dark valley.
Two villains of the dark valley.

There is rather little speaking in the adaptation of the novel. Actors like Tobias Moretti and Florian Brückner put all their art – their expression into body language and facial expressions. The make-up and costume design are also very expressive, always seeming somehow casual. The film was shot in the South Tyrolean mountains in the freezing cold, which meant considerable hardship for crew and actors. Horses play a major role in this Austrian western, both as draught animals and as mounts. The film with its protagonists, actors with faces like landscapes, epic mountain images and lighting moods, great scenery, costume and make-up – simply looks great.

An Alpine Western with motifs of revenge, guilt and love.

THE DARK VALLLEY is a German-Austrian co-production.
Director: Andreas Prochaska
Theatrical release: 13 February 2013

All images: (c) Das finstere Tal, X-Verleih

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31. August 2019 Off