Forest of Echoes
Wald der Echos
A young woman runs through a forest, apparently racing two men. The chase is sensual and exultant, long hair, red dress, Jules et Jim... but then suddenly everything changes. The men disappear, leaving behind a damsel in distress – the path of the film takes a horrifying turn. At the shore of a river, the young woman discovers the corpses of three children. But suddenly a hard cut alters everything once again: tableaux vivants of three nymphs are seen – not dead but on the contrary most lively, full of macabre, mystical and humorous ideas – and these are not in the least bit childish.
The drama that plays out in the eventful and precise audio-visual staging of this cinematographic chamber play could not be more compelling. Kathrin Resetarits and Florian Lang are convincing as an irritated and bored couple whose shared private world ranges from the hippiesque to bobotum; through their inexhaustible range of expression, the three girls (Jasmin Wallner, Calista Berger, Katherina Plaim) create three characters full of complexity and relational nuance – characters who with breathtaking ease master the fine line between playing kids´ games and confronting death. Maria Luz Olivares Capelle succeeds in establishing an atmospheric density full of narrative rigor over the course of a mere 30 minutes, and at the same time masterfully deconstructs several genre conventions. That all the while gender relations are also being intelligently commented upon provides a special joy, since such commentary does not go without saying. A viewing pleasure for all the senses.
(Andrea B. Braidt)
Translation: Eve Heller