Jennerwein (TV Movie 2003) Poster

(2003 TV Movie)

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10/10
From Poacher to Folk-Hero.
Ernst Wiltmann15 June 2007
This is the true story of Girgl Jennerwein, a rebel in the German alps from 1848 - 1877. Supplied with a deeper sense of justice, he confront's the harsh suppression of the mountain farmer being used as slave laborers for the gentry. Poor people are sometimes left close to starvation, Girgl's poached meat helps them to cope. This does not get un-noticed by the Authorities, who set an experienced wild-ranger on his trail. A Ranger that has killed Girgl's father for the reason of poaching. Girgl, a former soldier of the imperial German army will prove more than a challenge. It is a beautiful Woman however that will drive a wedge between Girgl and his supporters. The acting is superb, the photography just beautiful, the story has some of the grittiness of Clint Eastwood's "UNFORGIVEN". Not made after any Hollywood formula, the viewer is left with a taste of historical realism.
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6/10
Succeeds thanks to acting and atmosphere Warning: Spoilers
"Jennerwein" is an Austrian/German movie in the German language and this one came out back in 2003, so it will have it 15th anniversary next year. The writer and director of this small screen release is Hans-Günther Bücking and it is certainly one of his most known career achievements. The cast includes some names that fans of German films have certainly come across. The title character is played by Fritz Karl, Florian Brückner is on board as well and Christoph Waltz plays the main antagonist roughly five years before he broke through in Hollywood thanks to his collaborations with Quentin Tarantino. As for this film here, it reminded me a lot of "Das finstere Tal". It plays during the same time roughly (2nd half 20th century) and the locations also look fairly similar in my opinion. Both are films that live through the atmospheric take, but also the mostly convincing acting. As for this one here, the friendship/rivalry between the two central characters is an absolutely essential component and this of course also refers to their relationship with Sabrina White's character that ultimately is among the main reasons why it all escalates eventually. I would say the film is perhaps more memorable to some because of the really showy ending, but as the film is based on real events and this is roughly how it happened I cannot blame them for going out this way. It sure was quite a shocker though. Waltz proves back then already that he is fairly good in playing sinister characters. you may also want to check out his even older work about a gunman in Euskirchen. Back to this one here, I think here and there is a length early on, but at 87 minutes it is nothing too serious and the film also doesn't drag. The two lead actors make it an interesting watch from start to finish and there is really nothing wrong with this film. It is a good (not great) character study about two very different men and if there is any problem I had with this movie, then this would be perhaps that the film did not really convince me why Jennerwein is actually a historic figure today. So the perfect 10/10 the other reviewer gave the movie is certainly way too high, but it is still a good watch, especially if you are curious about what Waltz did (and he sure did a lot) before making it big. I recommend the watch. Good job from everybody involved and I give these almost 1.5 hours a thumbs up. Go see it.
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