The impact of Murer's film springs directly from its method: scrupulously detailed and naturalistic observation of a quite extraordinary reality. A family of four lives and farms in isolation near the top of a Swiss Alp. Their chief problem is a slightly retarded deaf-mute who is fast coming into puberty. In the time-honoured cure for frustrations, the father sets his son to building stone walls, as he himself did in his youth. But the boy's case is more extreme: he takes off up the mountain and builds his own small empire of fortresses, towers and phallic monuments. And when his teenage sister comes to bring him food, she stays the night with him... Murer's triumph is that he provides all the information without spelling anything out: he lets us discover these people and their relationships gradually. The tension between vision and voyeurism echoes the space between the tightness of the family and huge expanses of landscape they inhabit, pushing the film into the Surrealist key in which it finds its sublime, elegiac climax.