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Luis Trencker

Discover the ladin personalities

Luis Trenker was born in 1892 in Ortisei, and was Ladin.

Already during school holidays, Luis passed his time working as a mountain guide and ski instructor.
After high school, he studied architecture at the University of Vienna. 
He fought during the war and wrote his experiences in several books, such as "Sperrfort Alta Rocca" (Strong barrier Rocca Alta) and "Berge in Flammen" (Mountains in flames). After the war he continues his studies in architecture, which finished in Graz in 1924. After that, he worked as an architect in Bolzano.
Trenker was hired in 1921 as a mountain guide for the film of Arnold Fanck "Berg des Schicksals" (The mountain of fate). As the protagonist was not able to climb, Trenker received the protagonist role. Other films followed soon, initially as an actor, and later as a director. He was often protagonist, director and author in the same film. From 1927 he worked only as an artist.
Two basic themes of Trenker’s works are the idealization of a life bound to the “home land”, often compared with the decline of the city and its inhabitants; and the brotherhood among the people of the mountain, also of different ethnicity and language.
The Fascist regime in Italy and the Nazism in Germany, took advantage of Trenker’s works, but he never signed works that were explicitly nazi or fascist propaganda. However he founded, along with Fritz Lang, the organization of the National Socialist enterprise, direction department.

Trenker artistically refused to be subdued by the Nazis and because of that he was banned to the practice of the profession. In 1940 he left Berlin and went to Rome, where he hoped to find better conditions thanks to the support of Mussolini. After two documentary films, he returned to Bolzano.
In the fifties, he started to make mountain documentaries again, and later also cinema-films for the cinema. In the sixties, he shot especially films dedicated to his homeland: South Tyrol.

The brand Luis Trenker ist dedicated to him.


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