Locarno FF

Jan Zabeil – Three Peaks (Drei Zinnen) #Locarno70

Play Podcast
8 min. and 26 sec.

Forces of nature affecting a complex family portrait

Play Podcast
8 min. and 26 sec.

PODCAST | Matt Micucci interviews Jan Zabeil, director of the film Three Peaks (Drei Zinnen).

To listen to the interview, click on the ► icon on the right, just above the picture

Filmmaker Jan Zabeil directed Three Peaks (Drei Zinnen), screened at the 70th Locarno Festival at the Piazza Grande, the Locarno Festival’s spectacular and renowned outdoor screenings. The film Three Peaks (Drei zinnen) is quite appropriate, as its spectacular of the wild mountainous area, in which the film is set, are truly terrific. Indeed, the film deals with a delicate and complex family portrait gradually confronted with forces of nature, somewhat beyond its protagonists’ control. Zabeil talks about the importance of the setting in the movie, and the difficulties of shooting there. He also tells us that he always tried his hardest to keep a level of intimacy during the shoot; one of the ways he did this was by working with a small crew: as small, at least, as the harsh situations and difficult stunts allows. Among other things, Zabeil is happy to share with us his method of working with his actors, remarkable trio composed by Alexander Fehling , Bérénice Bejo , Arian Montgomery, and expresses his delight with the film Three Peaks (Drei Zinnen) being screened at Locarno’s Piazza Grande.

Three Peaks (Drei Zinnen): Aaron invites his girlfriend Lea and her 8-year-old son Tristan on a trip to the mountains. What could be a starting point of a new life together, slowly turns into difficult territory as the three fight for their positions within the new family. High up in the Three Peaks region in the Italian Dolomites, Aaron and Tristan are faced with their ambivalent love for and deepest fears of one another, while Lea stands in between the two, trying to navigate this triangle. In his attempt to win the boy’s respect, Aaron takes him up the mountain and confronts Tristan with his continuous aggression towards him. When fog sets in and Aaron loses the boy, their power games reach a dangerous level…

For the official page of the film on the festival website, click here.


  • Reporter
    Matt Micucci
  • Guest
    Jan Zabeil
  • Interviewee role
  • Film title
    Three Peaks (Drei Zinnen)
  • Festival section
    Piazza Grande
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