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Under Snow
Unter Schnee
A film by Ulrike Ottinger
Germany/Japan, 2011, 103 minutes, Color, DVD
Order No. W131108
In the Echigo region of northwestern Japan, where heavy snow blankets entire landscapes and villages for more than half the year, a distinctive way of life has evolved. Time follows a different, slower rhythm, and everyday routines, along with religious rituals, wedding traditions, festivals, foods, songs, and games, are adapted to Echigo’s austere living conditions and natural beauty. Ulrike Ottinger’s latest film leads us into this mythical country, turning her lens on daily and communal life under the snowy mountains. Narrated in English by American literary and media theorist Lawrence A. Rickels, this stunning documentary sequences merge with the tale of students Takeo and Marko, played by Kabuki performers. Their journey through the past and repeated encounters with the present find them wondrously transformed with help from a beautiful vixen fox. Under Snow is clear evidence that Ottinger, whose career spans more than four decades, remains one of world cinema’s most original artists.


  • Berlin International Film Festival
  • Dubai International Film Festival
  • Ambulante Film Festival
  • International Women's Film Festival Créteil
  • Jerusalem International Film Festival
  • Asia-Pacific Weeks Berlin
  • Era New Horizons Film Festival, Wroclaw
  • Reykjavík International Film Festival
  • Bangkok World Film Festival

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    "Ottinger’s world can hardly be confused with humdrum reality. Watching her films is like traveling through an undiscovered country of marvels."
    Leslie Camhi Leslie Camhi
    The Village Voice

    "Maintains a gaze that demonstrates wonderment and fundamental sympathy for her surroundings."
    Jerusalem Film Festival

    "Visually and musically evocative . . . A film for all who wish to take a journey to a mysterious and slow world."
    Haus der Kulturen der Welt
    Asia-Pacific Weeks

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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us