Fredi M. Murer

Fredi M. Murer – Höhenfeuer aka Alpine Fire (1985)


Alpine Fire is as heady and intoxicating as the thin mountain air of the Alps in which it takes place. The entire film is set far above the rest of the world, and the isolated location influences both the characters and the film style.

The exact location is a lonely home pitched on the side of a mountain. Communication with neighbors is done with signs and binoculars; other people may be miles away, on the slope of the next Alp. The time is the present, but the home has no television or telephone, and it seems remote in many ways.

In this house live the elderly parents (Rolf Illig, Dorothea Moritz) and their two children: a daughter, Belli (Johanna Lier) and a son (Thomas Nock) called simply the boy.

The boy is deaf, temperamental and stunted in his learning. The early part of the film details his struggle with the world, and his fascination with ways of seeing; he uses mirrors, binoculars and various looking glasses to examine the silence around him. He becomes enraged when he spots his sister moving to the sounds of a transistor radio, which he immediately finds and destroys. Read More »

Fredi M. Murer – Höhenfeuer AKA Alpine Fire (1985)



A year on an Alpine farm: an older couple have two children, Belli, who wanted to be a teacher, and the younger Franzi, deaf, and although he works like a man, child-like. Belli teaches him. In his work, he can become frustrated, so when he throws an expensive mower over a cliff in a fit of pique, his father banishes him to the outskirts of the farm, where he uses pubescent energy to break rocks and build walls and cairns. (It’s the tradition of the father’s family, called “The Irascibles” by neighbors, to spend puberty doing this.) Belli visits him and they begin sleeping together. By winter, the boy is back in the house and Belli is pregnant. Soon her parents must know. Written by jhailey. Read More »