Director: Daniel Zimmermann
Screenwriters: Daniel Zimmermann

Institute History

  • 2019 Sundance Film Festival


In the forest of the Catholic monastery of Admont in Austria, a fir tree is felled and processed into planks of wood. By train, truck, boat, and finally hand, the stack is transported to a mysterious destination.

A luscious sensory experience, Walden takes us to 13 different stops on the journey from the forest through multiple cities, weather conditions, and modes of transportation, becoming more and more isolated. The film's meditative commentary suggests the absurdity of the economic rationale that fuels our globalized world—and through strange turns, it soon shows us we are not headed to the destination we expected.

Director/screenwriter Daniel Zimmerman uses a camera moving in a 360-degree pan for every shot, and this transports us to the middle of each place so that we become the invisible, all-seeing eye to the worlds of both man and nature, and their distinct, intricate systems. Each shot is a new world where viewers can get lost in nature and in industry—and just when you start to sink into the latest landscape, you’re magically reunited with the tree along its journey, a testament to Zimmermann’s poetic and artistic ability.

— M.P.

Screening Details


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