Iceman, 2017 - ★★★½

What lead to the death of the man known as Ötzi, the 5300 year old mummy found encased in Alpine ice? This film tries to fill in the events leading up to his death imaginatively. The film is mostly without dialogue, but at the start, there is some dialogue in an ancient dialect (Rhaetian), which is not sub-titled. This is quite a brave move, though they chicken out a bit by having a title card explaining that we don’t need to understand Rhaetian to follow the story. This is true, but it might have been better to let viewers be gently baffled.

The lack of dialogue means that you have to fill in some of the motivation for the characters’ actions yourself. Why did the men attack our hero’s village? Are the young woman and old man he comes across father and daughter or man and wife? I liked this aspect of the film, as well as the (seemingly reasonably accurate) depiction of Neolithic life in the Alps. It’s a violent film, and in the end, it doesn’t end up to much more than a fairly basic thriller, albeit one filmed in rather gorgeous scenery.

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