Drii Winter (A Piece of Sky)
Time moves differently in this small village in the Swiss alps: children still play with Furbies, women attend aerobics classes. Anna, who works both in an inn and as mail carrier, is in a new relationship. While she is happy that her daughter will have a father figure in her life, her neighbours don’t expect this relationship to last. Marco is from the lowlands after all – an outsider. After he becomes increasingly depressed and hyper-sexual, Marco is diagnosed with a brain tumour in his frontal lobe.
“There are places where they can help people like him,” Anna’s friend tells her (an unspoken “but not here” hanging in the air). Widely romanticised – a Bollywood team comes to the village to film against the imposing backdrop – the reality of life in the mountains is harsh. Like Marco’s cow that is led to slaughter, when attempts at impregnation fail, humans who don’t contribute to society are weeded out.
In his second feature, director Michael Koch finds innovate images with which to tell his story. In one scene Anna dances for Marco, but the camera stays on his face and watches him watch her. Their wedding is depicted through a close-up on her bridal hairdo, focusing a slow tracking shot of the musicians that wait outside the church.
The film takes its time setting the scene – unfortunately the slow pace comes at the cost of losing a viewer or two, before the action picks up towards the third act. This is detrimental, because Drii Winter has something important to say. The fact that it is not uncommon for brain injury and malignancy to affect a person’s personality and cause compulsive sexual behaviour is rarely talked about. Instead of visualising all the unsavoury details of animal agriculture, the picture could have benefitted from an earlier investment in Anna and Marco’s relationship, for instance showing how they met.
Instead, form is prioritised: what the audience witnesses are the three winters (hence the original title) the pair spend together.
Drii Winter (A Piece of Sky) does not have a UK release date yet.
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