The Silent Mountain

Synopsis: How war affects the people in the spectacular Dolomiti Mountains at the outbreak of WWI between Italy and Austria-Hungary in 1915.
Director(s): Ernst Gossner
Production: Sigma Films
94 min

I remember that

day as if it was yesterday.

It was a peaceful spring...

here in the south of our empire.

The first World War

was already raging

for almost a year now...

hundreds of miles away

in the east.

But people were

already talking about war,

even in our mountains.

That's when I had this dream.

Every night... the same dream.

I was on top of our mountain...

opposite an Italian soldier,

a wolch.

Suddenly, the wolch ran at me...

as I pull out my rifle.

Back then, I wasn't

baffled by the dream.

I couldn't wait to join the war

and finally get away from home,

fight for our country...

against the traitors.

But then, the soldier

caught up again.

He was still alive.

Now, it was on me

to finish him up.

But when I touched the trigger,

I saw that he wasn't

carrying a rifle.

Take it in your hand.

It's your fault.

No, it's not.

Is the fuse out, Ander?

Uh-uh-uh. It's a dud, right?

It's a dud?

Lechner, you moron.

What did I do?

You let it get wet.

Oh! Hey, leave him alone.

It didn't get wet.



Help! Lechner can't swim.


Come on!

Thank you.




Have you lost your mind, huh?

Leaving mass... your sister's

getting married. To a wolch!

I don't want anything

to do with wolch!

Wolch? Italians are our family.

Not mine.

The folks in our village

were outraged

that my father married off

my sister Lisl to a wolch.

Most of us hated the Italians,

but now everybody

was celebrating together

as if they were best friends,

just like my father predicted.

One more stunt like this today,

and I'm gonna let you have it.

Your father will calm down soon.

I had never seen

my sister Lisl so happy,

there with her new husband,

Angelo Calzolari.

When I was four years old,

my father built this hotel.

It was an instant success.

People came from all parts

of the world,

but I hardly ever

saw my father again.

The more foreigners,

the more reputation

and prestige for my father.

Now, it was time for my father's

most ambitious project ever,

the first mountain

tramway in our valley.

And how convenient

that Lisl's new husband Angelo

was the engineer he needed

to compliment his dream.

We did it, Angelo.

Your father has big plans.

Want some?

I knew that my

teacher was secretly in love

with my sister Lisl,

and it didn't make things easier

that her husband was Italian.

He hated them more than anyone.

But your time will come.

You will see, Ander.

Times are changing.

I can feel it.

And then, your father

will be proud of you.

He will see

what you are made of.


I see you do fancy her.

She's stunning,

your new sister-in-law.

She's a wolch.

My grandfather was also

Italian, from Piedmont.

Blimey, so you care

less of me now?

Mm-hmm, not enough at all.


May I cut in?

So you do like the wolch, huh?



Excuse me.

Are you all right?

No... no... no partire?


No partire.

No... you are...

no partire, you... you...

you don't want to leave?


No go.

No partire.

Well, um...

then, no partire.

Then... then... then, don't leave.


They are looking for you.

For the family picture.


What are you waiting for?

And now, quiet, please.


Tsk, tsk, tsk.


Don't move!

The Italians

declared war on Austria.


right here in our mountains.

The news instantly turned

our two families...

into enemies.

We are cleaning up now.

No, another half an hour...

half an hour.

Here, here! Follow me.


You have to hurry up now.

Angelo, take care of yourself.

I'll see you very soon.

Francesca's in the last car,

I just brought her her suitcase.

Come on, let's go! Avanti!

You come back... promise?

See you soon.

It's a bit cold, but it...

it... it'll be fine.

Don't, um... turn on the light

without covering the window...

the windows.

Well, the local riflemen

head to the front tomorrow.

That includes me.

They are... we will...

we will wait there

until the Kaiserjger arrive.

They're in the eastern Russia,

but they'll get here soon,

and then we'll definitely

win... win the war.

The Kaiserjger,

they are the strongest

mountain corps in the world.

I was reading a... a very, very

interesting book, actually,

about the... uh, yeah.

We'll probably be cold at first,

but, um, there are other

blankets underneath here.

And... and... and... and if you

are... are hungry, then, um...

These bastards.

It's true.

Bastards are

hunting the Italians.

Tell them to stop.

Where to?

We are on our way to Riva.

No Riva for you... get out now.

Where do you think you're going?

Go on, get back behind the wire.



Stop him!

Hey, get him!

This is our chance... let's go.

Stop! Halt! I'll shoot!

Bom, bop, bop, bom, bop, bop


Milano? Mm-hmm.


I... I can't go to Italy.

Italia partire me no.

Nueva York.

In America.

America? In America, si.



I'll go to New York.


I don't know.



New York.


We will go.


We'll go to America.

In America

Let's move! Hurry!

Let me through.

Everybody! Attention!

Every Tyrolean has the right

and the responsibility

to defend his country.

In this hour...

as Italy has betrayed our Kaiser

and maliciously declared war

on our homeland...

it is you who are

the last line of defense

for our families and soil.

The Kaiser expects unconditional

fulfillment of your duties.

Ten hut! Fire!

What's going on out there?

I solemnly

swear by God the almighty.

A pure and sincere vow.

Oh, my God.

Oh, my God, I overslept.

To fight the enemy

courageously and stoutly.

To preserve and protect

our ordnance.

And to always stand

by our flags.

The same as any brave soldier

would for his country.

The same as any brave soldier

would do for his country.

This is the biggest firework

that exists.

The Red Eagle.

If you're in danger,

you have a...

a problema...

you have a problema...

You light the fuse.

You understand?

You light the fuse.

It'll go up in the air.

And I'll see it,

up there in the mountains.

And I'll come down...

and I'll help you.

You understand?



Fall out!

Rifleman Gruber

reporting for duty, sir.

Close ranks.

Look after yourself.

It's good, I'll be all right.

I love you.

Everybody, attention!

Right face!

Company, march!

Hey, alpini.

What is it?

Oh, alpini.

Alpini! Alpini! Alpini!

Are you out of your mind?

Quiet down, for Christ's sake.

What's going on?

I was just taking a leak,

and this idiot

almost shot at me.

Ander said they were alpini.

Don't worry, you'll stop

laughing soon enough.

Where would the alpini come from

on this side

of the mountain, huh?

Get back in line.

I don't want

the first one to die

before the war even starts.

Let's go.

Are you frightened?



When you go to war,

you always have two choices.

You could get caught

with your pants down,

or up and ready to go.

If it doesn't catch you,

good for you.

If the worst thing happens,

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