The Magic Mountain: An exploration of an exemplary destiny

Publish Date: June 7, 2015
Author: Stefan Dobroiu

„The Magic Mountain is the second film in Damian’s trilogy dedicated to heroism, after Crulic – The Path to Beyond. The director uses a similar approach: pictures and sketches of Winkler, his family, friends and allies become animated via a multitude of different techniques, re-creating Winkler’s colourful and adventurous life. The biography is further helped along by a dialogue between Winkler (the voice of Jean-Marc Barr in the English version of the film and that of Christophe Miossec in the French version) and his daughter, Ania (Lizzie Brochère). The screenplay converts Winkler’s life into a tale that is simultaneously a bedtime story, a will, and a very personal perspective on life, politics and history.

Animators Theodore Ushev, Sergiu Negulici, Raluca Popa, Dan Panaitescu and Tomek Ducki use pretty much every animation and collage technique ever invented, drawing inspiration from Winkler’s exotic life and his passion for mountain climbing in order to create a visual background for his adventures. We see the protagonist’s exile in France, his anti-communist endeavours in Paris and his strenuous journey to Afghanistan. His extreme experiences there take up the bulk of the film, as well they should: he fought under Commander Massoud with such devotion that he was referred to as “Adam Khan” (King Adam) by his fellow fighters. He was no longer the crazy foreigner, an outsider, but rather a brother.”

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