Iceman is a reconstruction of life as it may have been for our long ago ancestors, inspired by the discovery of ‘Ötzi The Iceman’, the oldest known human mummy found in 1991, approximately 5300 years after his death.
A family group is living peacefully beside a stream in the Öztal Alps. Their leader Kelab (Jürgen
Vogel) is responsible for guarding the holy shrine. While he is out
hunting, the settlement is attacked, everyone is murdered,
including his wife and son, and the sacred shrine is stolen. Kelab then sets out to seek revenge.
This film beautifully recreates what life must have been like, with scenes showing religious rituals, hunting, loving relationships and violent confrontations. There is little dialogue and what there is takes place in Rhaetic a now extinct language (and there are no subtitles), but you don't need to understand the words to be able to follow the story, in fact the choice of language adds to the authenticity of the film. Every detail of the film in fact, including clothing, weapons and housing, was researched to be as authentic as possible and this is probably as close as we will get to knowing how life was for our ancestors. Hard and violent in the main.
Iceman is well worth watching and is screening at Edinburgh Filmhouse until Thursday 2 August.
You can find out more about Otzi, the man whose mummified remains inspired this film here.