Jan Zabeil: “True needs come to play in extreme situations.”

My interview with Jan Zabeil, director of Three Peaks, presented at last year’s Locarno Film Festival.


Jan Zabeil premiered his latest film, Three Peaks, at the Locarno Film Festival last year. It was there I interviewed him, along with his actor, Jan Spechenbach.

The film could be described as a family melodrama where the tensions between the three characters, a couple and their child, become more and more tense. The importance of the extreme isolation in which they find themselves is something I discussed with the director in my interview with him. He said:

For me, in nature, in these surroundings, in the extremes of nature … at a very high altitude, something comes up – something I didn’t know about myself. some true needs come to play in extreme situations where two people depend on each other. Therefore, I wanted to show this conflict more in images and atmospheres and situations, rather than people arguing … The images somehow explain the difficulties and the drama they [experience].

The answer indirectly refers to two things that should be noted: firstly, Three Peaks does use dialogue sparingly, which makes the images themselves more important; secondly, Zabeil comes from a prominent background as a cinematographer, which would explain his interest in the power of the image itself in telling a story.

You can stream the full audio of my interview with Zabeil on FRED Film Radio here, http://www.fred.fm/uk/jan-zabeil-three-peaks-drei-zinnen-locarno70/.

You can also stream the audio of my interview with the lead actor of the film, Alexander Fehling, on FRED Film Radio here, http://www.fred.fm/uk/alexander-fehling-three-peaks-drei-zinnen-locarno70/.



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