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Die Walder Saga

Type: TV – Documentary
Director: Markus Mörth
Length: 45 min
Status: in production

Pius Walder was shot on the 8th of September 1982 in Kalkstein at the age of thirty.
The deadly shot at the poacher left behind open questions until this day.

Why is it that this story is still so fascinating even today?

In 1982 Pius Walder was shot dead while poaching. He was thirty years old. The Austrian justice system viewed it as intentional bodily assault resulting in death. In the bigger picture of the history of East Tyrol the fate of the poacher Pius is just a tragic side note. In Villgraten on the other hand, it divides the families living there until this day.

The documentary “Die Walder-Saga” contrasts the myth surrounding the story with the historical facts known today and presents the Walder brother´s story in all it´s emotion and immediacy.

What really happened? How did the justice system reach this verdict? And why did Pius brothers swear to take revenge and have remained unforgiving until today?

Only few media outlets have resisted the temptation to stylize Pius and his brothers, the Walder Boys, as alpine Robin Hoods. The stories surrounding them even before Pius death were just too fantastical.

The film takes a new look at the facts and shows the case in a new light. It tells the story of a modern-day poacher drama that captivated East Tyrol for over 30 years.

The practice of poaching in East Tyrol can be traced back to 1920s. As a matter of fact it was hunger that drove people to the woods with their shooting irons. Pius´ brother, Hermann Walder, born in 1944, experienced these hardships firsthand: Everywhere there were ten to 15 children that did not get enough food. In the Walder family there were twelve.

However, in the 1960s the motivations shifted: The rebellion against the authorities and the joy of the hunt became central motifs of the poachers. Were they supposed to leave all the game to the hunters and have nothing themselves?