Mountains, 21st century. Far from being isolated spots light years away from the “world”, today’s mountain peaks are, in their own peculiar way, a reflection of the global, economic and cultural transformations at work in it. Sometimes, they are even an experimental laboratory for them. Their huge, static bulk, as ancient as the very roots of the Earth, should not be misconceived: these days, a great deal of changes occur – and fast – even in the mountains. Sometimes too much changes, too fast. From this perspective, the Alps – spread over eight nations, some of them among the most advanced in the world, are, in a sense, a laboratory. For the experimentation of new models for the economy and for tourism, for immigration and integration (they’ve always been a frontier, a passageway), for development that lurches between sustainable on the one hand and violently invasive on the other.

Thus, this documentary – with no narrator, the only comments being the original sounds of the filming - takes us from the Davos World Economic Forum to the transhumance on the Similaun, from the iron mines of the Erzberg to the Thermal Baths of Graniga, from extreme sports to the No Tav movement protests in Val di Susa. Via Dubai, where the peaks have been reconstructed for the use and enjoyment of “urban” and post-modern skiers and snowboarders. It is over-the-top endeavours such as this that show just to what extent – even amid so much upheaval – the allure of the loftiest mountains remains as irresistible as it was thousands of years ago.

"Alpi is the result of seven years of research into contemporary perceptions of the landscape of the Alps, creating a juxtaposition of the places and situations of the eight bordering nations and taking in an area where four different languages are spoken. In the film, the Alps are treated as an island connected to the various global transformations. We embarked upon numerous journeys through the alpine region, which, ironically, led us to Dubai. The film shows the Alps as a key area, as a result of its beauty and environmental importance; it is a place where it is possible to observe and study the complexity of social, economic and political relations. In Europe today, the Alps are a cradle of modernity and the illusions it brings with it. "
(Armin Linke)

DIRECTED BY: Armin Linke
RESEARCH PROJECT: Piero Zanini, Renato Rinaldi and Armin Linke
SOUND: Renato Rinaldi,
EDITING: Giuseppe Ielasi
MADE WITH THE SUPPORT OF: Minerva Stiftung, Montura, Autonomous Province of Trento, Stiftung Erna und Curt Burgauer, Trentino Film Commission, University for Arts and Design, Karlsruhe