The Ister Review

Image for The Ister

Draws on philosopher Martin Heidegger's lectures on the poems of Friedrich Hölderlin. Following the river Danube from it's mouth to it's source, the film examines among other things, questions of place, culture, and ecology.


You’re going to need your thinking cap, as Australian directors Barison and Ross have set out to express some complex philosophical ideas about memory, technology, ecology and art in an essentially cinematic manner.

They’ve not wholly succeeded, as, for all the ingenuity of the imagery they accumulated between the mouth of the Danube in Romania and its source in the Black Forest, they still have to fall back on more traditional forms of language to explore the themes raised in a series of lectures given by one-time Nazi philosopher Martin Heidegger on the ‘hymns’ of the 19th century poet, Friedrich Hölderlin.

However, their astute selection of riverside landmarks and smart use of visual motifs provide additional food for thought, while also capturing the contrasting transitions of a much-troubled region.

'Highbrow' might be the best way to sum it all up. Interesting and stimulating, if not always successful.