Author Franz Innerhofer wrote an autobiographical trilogy and this film is based on the first book in the series, a work that includes a description of his years (from 6 to 17) on the family farm in the mountains of the Karten region of Austria. His stepfather was a brutal parent who did not spare the whip, and like other farm children, Innerhofer often had to stay home and work -- school took a back seat to hard labor. The taciturn farmers who formed his only society had a blunt and unembellished way of speaking that hardly lent itself to profound communication, and between his lack of schooling, his stepfather's abuse, and the restricted use of language, Innerhofer reaches a point in his teen years where he ceases to be able to express himself well. After he leaves the farm, he keeps up correspondence with his grandfather, the one individual who empathized with young Innerhofer's plight -- but his grandfather is old and will not always be there. (Fortunately for Innerhofer he completed his education after his military service, attended the university in Salzburg, and started writing. His first book Schoene Tage was published in 1974 and won two literary prizes in Austria.)
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