Joke Olthaar’s Berg at the
International Film Festival Rotterdam
Berg | 79′ | Netherlands | 2021
4 June 2021, 19.30 at Pathe 4
5 June 2021, 12.45 at LantarenVenster 6
5 June 2021, 19.15 at, KINO 4
6 June 2021, 13.15 at Cinerama 1
6 June 2021, 21.15 at Cinerama 5
Three hikers meet shortly before climbing a mountain together. They discuss their expectations briefly in voice-over. It is not until fifteen minutes later that we see them – as unrecognisable dots on the landscape. They never lose this nullifying anonymity, neither do they speak again. The protagonist here is not the people setting out to climb the mountain, but rather the mountain itself. Valleys cloaked in powdery snow, eroded rock formations and majestic peaks are all depicted in crystal-clear black and white. Here it is man who has to adapt, picking a path step by tentative step, hoping that the mountain will not block the way.
Dated film footage of a rescue team suddenly interrupts the majestic flow of the silent landscape. A minimalist soundscape mixes wind, the buzzing of insects, rushing water and rolling thunder into a symphony of natural forces. Here, thoughts disappear and a connection to the earth is forged. BERG is a highly aesthetic landscape experience, with a spiritual charge.