Archive of films Magic Mountain / La montagne magique

Romania / France / Poland
2015, 95 min

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Year: 2015

The Magic Mountain investigates the adventures of mountain climber and photographer Adam J. Winkler, who fought in Afghanistan with the mujahedin against the Soviets in the 1980s. The director employs a highly original artistic technique involving animated collage of period materials.


This film describes the adventures of Polish photographer and mountaineer Adam J. Winkler (1937–2002), who fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan on the side of the mujahedin. The narrative, created using combined techniques involving actors and, for the most part, animation, is conceived as a dialogue between Winkler and his daughter Ania. Visually, the work is built up around Winkler’s photographs and naivistic drawings, which are graphically modified in various styles: sometimes merely as sketches, at other times in eye-catching gouache or watercolour, elsewhere via artistically treated and animated sequences. The depiction of the hardship Winkler experienced in battle is dominated by tragic tones, nevertheless, the film is brightened with comic episodes, whose protagonists are the horses, goat and cat which accompanied the troops. Sound and image are complemented with a highly original score and the voices of leading French artists, thus we almost forget that we’re not watching an acted film – such is the magic of a work in which the epic thread is interwoven with poetic imagery.

Eva Zaoralová (2012)

About the director

Anca Damian

Anca Damian (b. 1962, Cluj-Napoca, Romania) studied at the National University of Theatre and Film Arts in Bucharest. She stood behind the camera for two feature films and several documentaries. Her first feature Crossing Dates (Intalniri incrucisate, 2008) was shown at Busan and at a number of other festivals. Her second film, Crulic – The Path to Beyond (Crulic – drumul spre dincolo, 2011), was selected for the competition at Locarno and was subsequently screened at around 150 festivals, winning a series of awards. Her third film, A Very Unsettled Summer (O vara foarte instabila, 2013), garnered three awards from the Romanian Filmmakers Union and was again shown at various festivals, including Febiofest. Her animated docudrama The Magic Mountain (2015) is her fourth big screen work.


Arizona Productions
5, Boulevard Barbès, 75018, Paris
Tel: +33 954 525 572
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, DCP
International premiere

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Director: Anca Damian
Screenplay: Anca Damian, Anna Winkler
Dir. of Photography: Animation: Thodore Ushev, Sergiu Negulici, Raluca Popa, Dan Panaitescu, Tomek Ducki
Music: Alexander Balanescu
Editor: Ion Ioachim Stroe
Art Director: Thodore Ushev, Sergiu Negulici, Raluca Popa, Dan Panaitescu, Tomek Ducki
Producer: Anca Damian
Production: Aparte Film
Coproduction: Arizona Productions, Filmograf
Cast: Christophe Miossec, Lizzie Brochere
Sales: Arizona Productions


Anca Damian

Film Director, Producer

Guillaume De Seille

Producer, Sales Agent

Joanna Ronikier


Włodzimierz Matuszewski


Roelof Jan Minneboo


Bénédicte Thomas

Distributor, Producer

Ileana Cecanu

Distributor, Festival Organizer, PR & Marketing


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