SIFF 2014: Kinderwald **

By Dennis Hartley

(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on May 24, 2014)

If Terrence Malick had directed The Blair Witch Project, it might resemble Lise Raven’s naturalistic period drama, set in the backwoods of 1850s Pennsylvania. The story centers on the reaction of a clannish pioneer community after two boys mysteriously vanish from their family’s encampment. While one gets a sense that the film was a labor of love for its creator, any noble intentions are undermined by a dull script and stilted acting. On the plus side, it is nicely photographed and imbued with period flavor; however, despite a compelling setup, the narrative itself wanders off and gets lost.

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