The Way to the Mountains

You must be logged in to watch films on Festival Scope

The Way to the Mountains (La Strada per le montagne)

Directed by Micol Roubini

  • France, Italy, Ukraine 2019; 82 min
  • Original version: Ukrainian, Italian
  • Genre: Documentary


Western Ukraine. The small village of Jamna. A long wall controlled by rest­less armed guards. Beyond the wall, a sanatorium and an old wooden house. Around the wall, a small but deter­mined film crew and a director attempting to find their way to the mountains. The old wooden house looks exactly like the one depicted in a photo dating back to 1919, which had lain abandoned flat among a pile of personal objects belonging to a family that had migrated from former Soviet Union.
Micol Roubini’s decided to go back to Jamna in order to make an imaginary land real, find a wooden house sup­posedly built by her great-grandfather and then abandoned during the World War II.
Micol Roubini, who seems well aware that every memory is simply another form of imagination and that a photo may be more real than reality, pursues her recherche du temps perdu in two directions. Firstly, her personal desire to find the house, get inside and touch its walls. Secondly, a broader search for the village’s memory. Yet, the wall surrounding the house seems insur­mountable, and the villagers intent on keeping their secrets to themselves. Micol Roubini, in her patient and rigorous style, leads a fierce battle to overcome people’s suspicion. The images are matched by the filmma­ker’s own voice-over, Brechtian and lyrical.
As if in a sort of “docu-noir”, and with the help of an old partisan and local taxi driver, THE WAY TO THE MOUNTAINS explores simple yet universal ques­tions. What is left of the past in the pre­sent? Why does collective memory have to be partial in order to be real?



    Giulia Olivieri