In Alpenland, Robert Schabus portrays the mountainous landscape of the Alps from the perspective of just some of the 13 million people from eight different countries who inhabit the region, such as a father and daughter with a farm high in the Austrian Alps, metal workers in the Italian town of Premana, and an estate agent living in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany. The bond they have with their land is sometimes set in stark contrast to the levels of economic development. Can a snow cannon really be of greater value than social housing?
Director Robert Schabus himself grew up on a farm in the Alps. During his lifetime he has witnessed many changes in the mighty mountains. ‘In some places, the balance has completely shifted and developments are often at odds with the needs of inhabitants. In other places, things aren’t too bad and it’s as if time has stood still.’ The tales of the village doctor and the shepherds are just a fraction of the almost infinite possibilities of stories, yet they tell us everything.