When the perfectly-preserved body of a Stone Age man was found in the Ötztal Alps in 1991, it became a world sensation. “Ötzi” (renamed Kelab) was so well-preserved, in fact, that one could draw several different conclusions about his life and his violent passing. These hypotheses now make up the template of this new Felix Randau-directed film, and result in a gripping drama starring Jürgen Vogel in the role of the hunter from the Neolithic era.
5,000 years ago, Kelab (played by German actor Jürgen Vogel) led a quiet life in the mountains, with his tribe. When one day he returns from the hunt, he is faced with a horrifying sight: his family, the rest of the tribe, murdered, the village devastated. Outraged, Kelab seeks revenge, vowing to track down the aggressors and punish them. But can he deal alone with the invaders and the violence of his natural world?
Want to find out more about Oetzi? Read this Ars Technica article
The dialogues take place entirely in a pre-Racial Alpine language, the visual qualities of the film an unusual treat for the eye. With stirring camera work, the imposing natural backdrops are captured in all their glory and the detailed depiction of an archaic life lived between a relentless nature and violent fellow human beings is fascinating to take in.
As earth-shattering as the 1991 find was, little could be said about the corpse, the life this human person lived. It was only known that he died from an arrow injury. But by whom and why? Speculation abounds.
And yet, even in the face of very sparse information, director Randau, along with his screenwriter, created this great drama, with documentary-like authenticity.
“Iceman” comes out this Friday.