Not too talkative, wielding chainsaws and smoking, men fell trees in the steep forest above Lake Ägeri, Switzerland. The great trunks stripped of their branches thunder headlong into the icy water. They are stewarded into a giant raft of trees, harnessed for their journey downstream.

Corina Schwingruber Ilić and Thomas Horat present unobtrusively a winter’s tale conducted every four years, a tradition unchanged.

There’s no music in this short documentary, only the rev and whine of the chainsaw alternating with forest silence. The cameras hug the silent men, attention riveted to the dangers of the task. Above the treetops we see the lumberjacks’ patient labour, and discover the remarkable harvest.

Directed by Corina Schwingruber Ilić and Thomas Horat
Photography: Luzius Wespe
Sound: Simon Graf, Oswald Schwander
Subtitles: Cristina Altwegg

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