Čarobna gora / The Magic Mountain

Čarobna gora / The Magic Mountain

Anca Damian

Romunija, Poljska, Francija, 2015, dcp, 89:00

In English with Slovenian subtitles

Directed by: Anca Damian

Script: Anca Damian, Anna Winkler

Animators: Theodore Ushev, Sergiu Negulici, Raluca Popa, Dan Panaitescu, Tomek Ducki

Music: Alexander Balanescu

Sound: Frédéric Théry, Sebastian Wlodarczyk

Voices: Jean-Marc Barr, Lizzie Brochère

Producers: Anca Damian, Guillaume de Seille, Bénédicte Thomas, Joanna Ronikier, Włodzimierz Matuszewski

Co-production: Studio Miniatur Filmowych, Studio Video Art, Krakow festival Office, Telewizja Polska

Production: Aparte Film, Filmograf, Arizona Productions

In the form of an animated docu-drama, the biography of Adam Jacek Winkler wanders through nearly half a century.

A Polish refugee in Paris, Adam Jacek Winkler lives a boundless life, wanting to change the world. His adventurous life takes a radical turn in the 80’s, as he leaves France to fight alongside commander Massoud against the Soviets in Afghanistan.

In the light of September 11th 2001, his fate mirrors the individual’s destiny in relation with the history unfolding and also the introspection of a man on his own fate.


The Magic Mountain is the second part of a film trilogy dedicated to heroism, which began with Crulic – The Path to Beyond. Each time the story focuses on an individual facing his own death and wanting to give meaning to life. If Crulic was a Kafkian character damned by society, Winkler is a romantic hero, a lost knight in the 20th century, whose origins are deeply rooted in the history of mankind. He wanted to give meaning to his life by fighting against “evil”. For romantic characters, “good” and “evil” are strong notions that can be clearly defined. Such lives usually end in combat, and he was prepared to die each and every day for his cause. For him, death is the only measure of one’s heroic actions.

Visually, the film combines real elements with illustrations, in order to create a surreal effect. The ‘‘real elements’’ include photographs from the archives of Adam Jacek Winkler. In some of these Winkler appears himself, while others were made by him in Afghanistan. References from the history of film were also used, mostly from the silent or black-and-white era.

The Magic Mountain is, like the life of Adam Jacek Winkler, both comical, poetic, cynical, funny, and tragic, covering a complex range of human emotions and archetypal values that form the core of humanity itself.

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