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Home arrow CINEMA arrow [VENEZIA74] Director's Rick Ostermann back to Venice and talks about his "War"
[VENEZIA74] Director's Rick Ostermann back to Venice and talks about his "War"
di Marisa Santin   

35608-krieg_-_director_rick_ostermann____privat.jpgAfter a lengthy assistant director career, Rick Ostermann debuted with short Still, which anticipated the themes we were later to find in Wolfskinder. Wolfskinder was Ostermann’s first feature film and was presented at the Venice Film Festival in 2013. It was the story of the orphan refugees that fled Soviet-Occupied Germany at the end of WWII.


Much like in Wolfskinder, protagonist here is war, once again seen through the eyes of victims, far from the battlefield. In Krieg, though, there is another kind of war going on.
There are two kinds of wars in this story/film. The first war is the war the son enters voluntary. It’s a war in an unnamed trouble spot somewhere in the world. The other war is the war the protagonist has to face in the mountains. More than anything, it is a war the protagonist has to fight with himself, inside. He must decide to go to war and it’s a kind of grief work for him. But at the end, humanity wins – he won’t kill the unknown man. War often costs sacrifice – in the movie, it’s the dog.

In Wolfskinder, there was an autobiographical subplot. Where does the story of Krieg come from?
From a book by Jochen Rausch. I actually found the book in an airport while a was waiting for a flight to a festival to present Wolfskinder.

Where was the film shot? What difficulties in working in an isolated mountain set and what relationship did you have with the actors?
We shot in Navistal, Austria, close to the border with Italy. The people of Navistal were very nice, helpful, and cooperative with our team and our work up on the mountains. The main difficulties where the cold, the snow, and the mountains themselves. The camera, light, and grip department worked very hard to take these remarkable pictures. Also, the actors and especially Ulrich Matthes had to fight the cold very much. Some days it was so cold it was hard for the actors to speak the lines! We wanted Ulrich Matthes very much to act in the movie. From the very beginning I saw Ulrich as a partner; I listened to his advices and he listened to mine.




Krieg by Jochen Rausch, the groundwork for the film and the most inspiring book for me on this project.



So Lonesome I Could Cry, Seasick Steve. It is the music the protagonist is listening to and it is reported in the book as well.



Photographer Ansel Adams for the mountain part of the movie. Photographer Gregory Crewdson for the part at the protagonist’s home.



Dopo la guerra degli orfani in fuga per la sopravvivenza dalla Germania occupata dai sovietici in Wolfskinder, Ostermann torna sul tema in questo suo secondo lungometraggio e, ancora una volta, la guerra è il Male che si ripercuote sulla vita di chi, anche lontano dal campo di battaglia, rimane schiacciato dalle sue nefaste conseguenze. La notizia della morte del figlio, soldato nella Bundeswehr, getta Arnold e Karen nel più profondo sconforto. Ma se lei si abbandona alla disperazione, lui cerca di lasciarsi il dolore alle spalle rifugiandosi in una baita di montagna con l’unica compagnia dell’amato cane. La guerra, inaspettata e diversa da quella che gli ha crudelmente portato via il figlio, lo raggiungerà anche lì./ After the war of the orphans fleeing from Sovietoccupied Germany depicted in Wolfskinder, Ostermann is back on the same theme and, once again, War is the sum of all evils. Arnold and Karen fall into despondency as they learn their child, a soldier in the Bundeswehr, died. As much as she is desperate, he tries to leave pain behind and moves to a log cabin with the sole company of his beloved dog. War, though a different kind from the one that took his child, will find a way to come up uninvited.