The Way to the Mountains
La strada per le montagne
- Micol Roubini
- 82 min
- Fabrizio Polpettini (La Bête), Davide Maldi (L'Altauro), Marco Alessi (Dugong Films)
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?
Micol Roubini (Milan, 1982) graduated in painting from the Brera Academy of Fine Arts and in audio technology from the music section of the Escuala Civica in Milan. She works as an artist and filmmaker, mainly with video, sound and multimedia installations that have been shown in solo and group exhibitions in Italy and internationally. Since 2010, she has also been working as a sound editor for documentaries and videos made by other artists. In 2017 she founded Altauro, for independent films production.