My First Mountain – a Rigi Film

[original title:  Mein erster Berg – ein Rigi Film]

Switzerland 2012. DCP 16:9, colour, 97 min.

Mein erster Berg – ein Rigi Film Mein erster Berg – ein Rigi Film Mein erster Berg – ein Rigi Film affiche

Of all the mountain films I have made, the film ‹My First Mountain› marks the conclusion of my cinematic reflections on rural and Alpine Switzerland.

I grew up at the gateway to Central Switzerland with a view of Mt. Rigi. Since my childhood, the sweeping backdrop of this mountain has never ceased to impress me. In 1480 Albrecht von Bonstetten, Dean of the Abbey of Einsiedeln, had defined Mt. Rigi as the centre of the world. In my film ‹My First Mountain› I try to explore this centre as a witness of our time.

Mt. Rigi is also the first mountain for the Alpine herdsman Märtel Schindler. Just like his ancestors, he grew up on it and lives and works on this mountain, a popular tourist and recreation destination. In this film I attempt to probe the heart, the heart of a magnificent landscape and the heart of a personal account, to capture an image of time from the heart of Switzerland.

DirectorErich Langjahr
WithRigi Älpler Märtel Schindler und andere
PhotographyErich Langjahr
SoundSilvia Haselbeck
EditingErich Langjahr
MusicHans Kennel mit Betty Legler, Andreas Ambühl, Hans Hassler, Marc Unternährer und anderen
CollaboratorsSilvia Haselbeck: Kamera- und Schnittassistenz
Tonschnitt, Mischung: Guido Keller
Plakat: Art Ringger
Duration97 min.
FormatDCP 16:9
VersionsSchweizerdeutsch / deutsch untertitelt / english subtitles / sous-titres français
Sales DVD/VideoDVD   [order]
ReleaseRelease 2012
FestivalsSolothurner Filmtage 2013
Leipzig Internationales Dokumentarfilm-Festival 2012
Zürich Film Festival 2012
Würzburg Internationales Filmfestival 2013
Buenos Aires Festival Int. de Cine Indépendente (BAFICI) 2013
Toronto Canada Hot Docs im Doc Shop 2013
Trento Trento Film Festival Montagna - Società - Cinema - Literatura 2013
Lima Peru Festival: TRANSCINEMA 2013
Ludwigsburg (DE) NaturVision Filmfestival 2013
Pontresina 2. Swiss Mountain Film Festival 2013
St. Gerold, Walser Herbst 2014
Freistadt 25. Filmfestival Freistadt "Der neue Heimatfilm" 2013
Tegernsee 11. Int. Bergfilm-Festival 2013
Eberswalde 10. Filmfest 2013
Brig Multimediafestival BergBuchBrig 2013
Trieste 14. Alpi Giulie Film Festival 2013
Mexico: Post - TRANSCINEMA 2014
Chandannagar India - 23. Int. adventure film festival 2013
ProductionLangjahr-Film GmbH, Luegstrasse 13, CH-6037 Root
Tel. +41-41-450 22 52 – Fax +41-41-450 22 51
E-mail: info@langjahr-film.chsend this
World RightsLangjahr-Film GmbH
Distribution Switzerland
and international
Langjahr-Film GmbH, Luegstrasse 13, CH-6037 Root
Tel. +41-41-450 22 52 – Fax +41-41-450 22 51
E-mail: info@langjahr-film.chsend this
Suisa number1009.120

Show screenings

Press review

Erich Langjahr may be widely regarded as the personification of mountain films. He has been part of Leipzig since the 1970s, caused a sensation with his Alpine trilogy, enchanted everyone with his «Erbe der Bergler» – and has now announced that he is going to present his last (or so he says) mountain film. It’s dedicated to the Rigi: a summit once described as the centre of the world, which is still partly true for many people in Switzerland. How do you describe a mountain? Erich Langjahr’s method: stay away from all folklore, be poetic and therefore concrete. Once more he unites precision and soul as he observes a native of the Rigi region felling trees, cutting posts, pouring concrete or shovelling snow, sharing a meal with friends, driving cattle up and down the mountain and walking over the mountain. This appropriation is never contemplative – and here’s another constant in Langjahr’s philosophy -, but always active. Langjahr’s camera, which was once fascinated by haymaking on the mountain, is now immersing itself in the ballet of a mini-excavator or the virtuosity of a chainsaw. The Rigi is no refuge of the pre-modern age: there’s mass tourism here as well as futuristic viewing platforms, high rises and the inevitable «Rigi Events». And yet this film – maybe helped by the transcendent and jazzy alpenhorn soundtrack – is a hymn to what is sacred to us (even in a secularised world) – and to Switzerland, this strange and distant planet.

Grit Lemke (Catalogue DOK Leipzig 2012)

The view of and from Mount Rigi stays with people for a lifetime. This massive, mighty mountain on the Lake of Lucerne has impressed and attracted swarms of friends of nature, artists and tourists alike, since time immemorial. For alpine farmer, Märtel Schindler, the Rigi is also his «Queen of the Mountains». Like earlier generations of his family, he works on and has been shaped by the mountain. Filmmaker Erich Langjahr has made a name for himself as a chronicler of rural alpine Switzerland. He too was raised with a view of Rigi at the gateway to Central Switzerland, and in his film portrays those who live with and live off the mountain.

Catalogue Zurich Film Festival 2012

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