Ermanno Olmi’s first feature-length film is a treasure trove of human observation
On the majestic setting of Mt. Adamello, an intimate and at the same time universal story of friendship
After many interesting documentaries, this is Ermanno Ormi’s first feature film, demonstrating his refined sensibility as a director. Filmed under harsh conditions, at high altitude and with two non-professionals in the lead roles, Il tempo si è fermato is a film made up of apparently banal looks, gestures, words and silences, all of which fully reveals the great originality of Olmi, who was able to dig deep into the complex humanity of his characters and portray them with astounding naturalness. It is a story of reciprocal discovery that leads two strangers to form a bond which is part friendship and part father-son relationship. Nature, majestic and unforgiving, is not just a backdrop, but an essential part of a world that is intimate and at the same time universal, with Olmi as our guide. A highly nuanced film that combines rigorous structure and improvisation, comic touches and dramatic fits, moral tension and disarming human empathy.
Natale and Roberto share a refuge at 2,500 metres altitude on Mount Adamello, where they work as winter guards on a dam in construction. Initially their relationship is one of distrust, due to differences in age, education, social extraction and character. But a friendship is born in the solitude of the mountains.