The Dark Valley
When the snows come, darkness descends on the valley. It is the late nineteenth century; a stranger arrives in this remote community of alpine farmers. His name is Greider and he has apparently been away in America for some time. Ostensibly a photographer, he announces his desire to stay until winter is over. But this reticent observer, who finds accommodation with the widow Gader and young Luzi, finds himself confronted with the deep distrust of an unwittingly close-knit community.
Luzi will soon get married; although she loves her fiancé with all her heart, she fears this day more than any other. When the youngest son of the wealthy Brenner farmer has a fatal accident whilst cutting wood, and his brother is found dead in the mill stream soon after, the old order in the valley begins to unravel. But there are things you just can’t talk about, even if you can’t forget them.
Thomas Willmann’s novel on which this film is based skilfully weaves the stylistic devices of the rural-based ‘Aga saga’ into a compelling revenge drama. For her screen adaptation, Andreas Prochaska uses motifs from the western to depict, in archaic images, the silent battle of a community with its own laws.
Source: 64. Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin (Catalogue)