There has been an overflow of World War II movies in the past decade, each and every one of it dealing with a different battle, a different case, and of course a different story. ‘Mountain’, unlike most war films, deals with the drama of not one, but three U.S soldiers trapped on the European front, right behind enemy lines. They have to manage to find someone from their side, or at least survive on their own. In such harsh condition, survival is just a dream, but interestingly enough, they manage to find a way. They are hiding and running away while, one by one, the war takes its toll.
Johnny Herbin’s short stands out in this whole World War II memory-recovering wave of films by having an exceptional cinematography, along with an amazing voiceover that really sends chills down the spine. The story of the three lost soldiers is narrated by a deep voice that will intensify your feelings with every passing minute. Another great feature of this short is the way in which director Johnny Herbin is managing time, and how the whole timeline of a long war is summed up with such ease; we can easily see the passing of time on the soldiers, as their faces are like a blank canvas a great painter modulates time on. On top of that, the clever use of black and white cinematography which adds value and authenticity to the whole project proves once again that the director knows what he is doing. Near the end, when Knowles (wonderfully played by Wam Siluka Jr.) arrives back in the city, he gives the impression that the war lasted his whole life: he is not the same man he was when it started, and the world is now completely different from what he remembers. The ending of 'Mountain' reminded us of Brooks Hatlen from ‘Shawshank Redemption’ who couldn’t find his place in the new world despite the fact that he did everything to 'bear' it.
Written by Vlad A. G