Documentaries

Ask Dr. Ruth
Ryan White
United States
99′
A documentary portrait chronicling the incredible life of Dr. Ruth Westheimer, a Holocaust survivor who became America's most famous sex therapist. As her 90th birthday approaches, Dr. Ruth revisits her painful past and her career at the forefront of the sexual revolution.
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(1991)
Edwin Beeler
Switzerland
79′
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The Quest For Tonewood
Hans Lukas Hansen
Norway
87′
A luthier is obsessed with the idea of crafting a violin, the sound of which is so exceptional that it will thrill the musician who plays it and caress the souls of those who hear it. This will require a special type of wood, cut from a hallowed tree that is only found in a Balkan forest. A musical quest that is as thrilling as a high-stakes treasure hunt.
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Pepe Mujica - El presidente
Heidi Specogna
Germany
93′
A former resistance fighter who is elected president of Uruguay and donates almost 90 percent of his salary to social projects: Pepe Mujica, one of Latin America's most charismatic personalities, has become known as "the poorest president in the world". He has always remained true to his ideals, having spent many years in prison for political reasons. His modest lifestyle - he lives in a small finca instead of a government palace - and his unconventional appearance underpin his credibility with young and old. Pepe Mujica represents his concerns with humour, intellect and passion, and his political commitment to a more just society attracts international attention and encouragement. Filmmaker Heidi Specogna and her cameraman Rainer Hoffmann often visited Pepe Mujica and his wife Lucía Topolansky and accompanied them with their cameras. This is how the portrait of an extraordinary person was created, who, at almost 80 years of age, has retained his courage, his wit, his humanity and his strong hope for change. "Pepe Mujica - el presidente" is an optimistic and moving film that inspires courage.
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Citoyen Nobel
Stéphane Goël
Switzerland
89′
The 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry transforms Jacques Dubochet’s life. Passing from the shadows to the light, he is solicited from all sides. What can he do with this voice, which is now being heard by everyone? How to define the struggles to be fought? How to become a “Nobel Citizen”, with the objective of assuming responsibility as a researcher and member of the human community? A speech by Greta Thunberg turns everything upside down.
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Paul Nizon: Der Nagel im Kopf
Christoph Kühn
Switzerland
84′
The film tells of the radical life-search by the Swiss writer Paul Nizon, born 1929 in Bern, Switzerland, who became what “he was meant to be” in Paris. Now 90-year-old, Paul Nizon grants insights into his life and work in a self-ironic, direct manner. The intimate portrait of a great literary outsider emerges, for whom the risk of life and the risk of writing merge into one and the same work of art.
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Markus Raetz (2007)
Iwan Schumacher
Switzerland
75′
The Swiss artist Markus Raetz is an established figure in the international art world. For the film by Iwan Schumacher, the artist from Bern is for the first time giving a camera team an insight into his 40 years of work.
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The Prince of Nothingwood
Sonia Kronlund
France
86′
Director Sonia Kronlund accompanies the Afghan director, actor and screenwriter Salim Shaheen in her film Nothingwood. He is a well-known figure on the film scene in his home country, but hardly known abroad. About a hundred kilometers away from Kabul, Salim Shaheen comes to show some of his 110 films and to shoot the 111th in the process.
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Urs Fischer
Iwan Schumacher
Switzerland
102′
The 36-year-old Swiss artist Urs Fischer, who lives in New York, has been enjoying international fame for some years now. This documentary follows him during the preparation of his exclusive exhibition in an American museum and thus takes us into the daily life and work of an artist.
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Advocate
Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaïche
Israel
109′
Lea Tsemel, a Jewish-Israeli lawyer, defends Palestinians: from feminists to fundamentalists, from nonviolent demonstrators to armed militants. As far as most Israelis are concerned, she defends the indefensible. As far as Palestinians are concerned, she’s more than an attorney, she’s an ally. «Advocate» follows Tsemel in real time, including the trial of a 13-year-old boy — her youngest client to date.
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Amiet
Iwan Schumacher and Cornelia Strasse
Switzerland
52′
Cuno Amiet lived from 1868-1961, yet seen today many of his pictures have a contemporary edge. Amiet was a Swiss pioneer of modern painting along with Ferdinand Hodler and Giovanni Giacometti. The film visits three highly individual Amiet collectors in Dallas, Geneva and Studen, near Biel. Surrounded by Amiet’s works they tell us what part these paintings play in their lives.
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Paul Nizon: Un clou dans la tête
Christoph Kühn
Switzerland
81′
The film tells of the radical life-search by the Swiss writer Paul Nizon, born 1929 in Bern, Switzerland, who became what “he was meant to be” in Paris. Now 90-year-old, Paul Nizon grants insights into his life and work in a self-ironic, direct manner. The intimate portrait of a great literary outsider emerges, for whom the risk of life and the risk of writing merge into one and the same work of art.
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Beuys
Andres Veiel
Germany
107′
For the German artist Joseph Beuys, art was used for provocation and he wanted to "provoke" discussions with his works. He was a sculptor, performer and draftsman.
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Citizenfour
Laura Poitras
United States
113′
CITIZENFOUR is a real life thriller, unfolding by the minute, giving audiences unprecedented access to filmmaker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald’s encounters with Edward Snowden in Hong Kong, as he hands over classified documents providing evidence of mass indiscriminate and illegal invasions of privacy by the National Security Agency (NSA).
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Citizenfour Version française
Laura Poitras
United States
113′
CITIZENFOUR is a real life thriller, unfolding by the minute, giving audiences unprecedented access to filmmaker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald’s encounters with Edward Snowden in Hong Kong, as he hands over classified documents providing evidence of mass indiscriminate and illegal invasions of privacy by the National Security Agency (NSA).
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Ken Bugul
Silvia Voser
Senegal
64′
Ken Bugul is a Senegalese writer who lives in Africa, where her soul is anchored. She has had an exceptional life. Silvia Voser’s film shows her as an iconic figure of the female condition and of relationships between Africa and the West. Ken Bugul is considered one of the most brilliant writers in Senegalese and French of these past decades. Over the years, thanks to her great command of the French language and the uncompromising care she takes with the wording of the meaning of Wolof vocabulary, her mother tongue, her novels have become absolute references in the realm of linguistic studies. "What you read in French in my novels is how we think and speak in Wolof in my village". Ken Bugul’s personal story is overshadowed by Africa’s turbulent history. She was born in 1947 in an isolated village in Senegal, at that time a French colony. Her father was 85 years old and her mother left them before Ken turned five. This was a fundamental event in Ken Bugul’s life. In spite of lacking a mother’s love, she was full of energy and a yearning for freedom, and she received an exceptional education for a village girl of that time. In 1971, she left for Europe to go to university and there she met people from the upper middle class and discovered new ideologies and liberties, modern art, drugs, alcohol, loneliness, incomprehension and disdain, and prostitution to relieve her need for affection. As she says in "The Abandoned Baobab": "For twenty years all I had learned was their thoughts and their emotions. I thought I’d have fun with them, but I ended up even more frustrated. I identified with them, but they didn’t identify with me." She came back to Senegal, a broken, lonely and penniless young woman. People thought she was crazy and she was rejected by her family and society. For two years, she slept in the streets of Dakar, hanging out with outcasts, beggars, prostitutes and artists. Dirty, hungry, almost naked, she started writing her first novel, "The Abandoned Baobab". Worn out, she decided to go back to her family. And there, in her mother’s village, she found refuge with the Serigne (marabout), a wise and much respected man. He took her as his 28th wife, enabling her to re-enter society, and he supported her in her desire to write and to be free. He died in 1981, a year before the publication of her first novel, "The Abandoned Baobab", which was an immediate success. Ken Bugul was invited to present her book all over the world. She met a doctor from Benin, married him and moved to that country, where she gave birth to their daughter Yasmina. Her husband passed away four years later. For the past thirty years, novel after novel, Ken Bugul has painted a picture of her life as a woman, of her loves, of the relationship between her continent and the West. "To write", she says, "is to dazzle the senses, and the senses are colourless." Silvia Voser leads us gently into the secret, tormented world of an artist whose writings show an understanding of the world that is rarely achieved.
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Maria by Callas
Tom Volf
France
114′
Told through performances, TV interviews, home movies, family photographs, private letters and unpublished memoirs, the film reveals the essence of an extraordinary woman who rose from humble beginnings in New York City to become a glamorous international superstar and one of the greatest artists of all time.
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Ask Dr. Ruth (French Version)
Ryan White
United States
100′
A documentary portrait chronicling the incredible life of Dr. Ruth Westheimer, a Holocaust survivor who became America's most famous sex therapist. As her 90th birthday approaches, Dr. Ruth revisits her painful past and her career at the forefront of the sexual revolution.
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Searching for Sugar Man
Malik Bendjelloul
Sweden
86′
Two South Africans set out to discover what happened to their unlikely musical hero, the mysterious 1970s rock 'n' roller, Rodriguez. The film won Best Documentary at the 85th Academy Awards.
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Chris the Swiss
Anja Kofmel
Switzerland
90′
Croatia, January 1992. In the midst of the Yugoslav Wars, Chris, a young Swiss journalist is found dead in mysterious circumstances. He was wearing the uniform of an international mercenary group. Anja Kofmel was his cousin. As a little girl, she used to admire this handsome young man; now a grown-up woman, she decides to investigate his story, trying to understand what really was the involvement of Chris in the conflict
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Stand Up My Beauty
Heidi Specogna
Switzerland
110′
Nardos, an Azmari singer from Addis Ababa, dreams of telling stories about the lives of ordinary people through her music. In her search of stories for her songs, she meets Gennet, a poet who lives on the streets with her children. As Nardos puts the lives of Ethiopian women, their visions and power at the centre of her creation, we dive deeper and deeper into a rapidly changing country.
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Zürcher Tagebuch
Stefan Haupt
Switzerland
101′
What's in the air? - A cinematic diary: personally anchored, at the same time political and social, with the courage for imbalance, for irritating simultaneity of inner and outer world, everyday life and state of emergency. The film spins a multi-layered web, captures feelings, thoughts, contradictory tendencies in a poetic and experimental way: an emotional reflection of this ambivalent time between powerlessness and departure.
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Hexenkinder
Edwin Beeler
Switzerland
97′
The movie recalls children who suffered mental and physical harm both during the last century, particularly in religious orphanages, and during the time of early modernperiod witch-hunts. It shows that the mindsets and behavioural patterns of both time periods are more alike than one might think.
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Wild Plants
Nicolas Humbert
Switzerland
109′
Wild Plants are plants that seed themselves on fallow land, take possession of seemingly uninhabitable terrain and create new habitats. But wild plants are also people who create their own utopias and become impulse generators for others. People live in many scattered places around the world and projects are growing in which botanical and biographical uncontrolled growth are combined.
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Zwischenwelten
Thomas Karrer
Switzerland
87′
In the Appenzell region of Switzerland, spiritual healers have always been part of local traditions. Here, natural health practitioners create tinctures and salves in an attempt to complement the procedures of official medicine. This leads to many unexpected and dynamic forms of collaboration.
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Amiet
Iwan Schumacher and Cornelia Strasse
Switzerland
52′
Cuno Amiet lived from 1868-1961, yet seen today many of his pictures have a contemporary edge. Amiet was a Swiss pioneer of modern painting along with Ferdinand Hodler and Giovanni Giacometti. The film visits three highly individual Amiet collectors in Dallas, Geneva and Studen, near Biel. Surrounded by Amiet’s works they tell us what part these paintings play in their lives.
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Loving Highsmith
Eva Vitija
Switzerland
84′
Based on Patricia Highsmith’s personal writings and accounts of her family and lovers, the film casts new light on the famous thriller writer’s life and oeuvre, permeated by themes of love and its defining influence on identity.
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Parallel Lives
Frank Matter
Switzerland
139′
What determines our biography? Fate, chance, others? And what influence does the zeitgeist have? Filmmaker Frank Matter set out to find people who, like him, were born on June 8, 1964, but in completely different circumstances. Following their biographies, the film takes us on a moving and visually powerful journey through the last decades.
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Weiterleben
Hans Haldimann
Switzerland
88′
A film about people who have fought for more freedom and justice – and have had to pay dearly for it. The two women and two men from Tibet, Congo, Chile, and Turkey now live in Switzerland. In their native countries they were badly tortured for their human rights efforts. Nevertheless, they have not lost their belief in a better world.
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(1991)
Edwin Beeler
Switzerland
79′
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Les Dames
Stéphanie Chuat and Véronique Reymond
Switzerland
81′
They are single, widowed or divorced; they have had children, husbands, work; they have a life behind them, but also one to come… The film reveals the intimate lives of five women in their sixties who are waging a discreet daily battle against solitude. One fills her time with activities, another is recovering from the loss of her husband, others find sustenance in nature. And love? They still believe in it, of course.
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Quand nous étions petits enfants (1961)
Henry Brandt
Switzerland
90′
The daily life in the primary school of Taillères, in the La Brévine valley, is filmed over the course of an entire school year, from 1959 to 1960. Henry Brandt's film, which won the Vela d'argento in Locarno in 1961, is a unique testimony to pedagogical processes, with a tender observation of the relationship between the young protagonists, their place of birth and the adult world.
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Die Letzten Heimposamenter (1973)
Yves Yersin
Switzerland
112′
At the beginning of the 1970s: Who are the people who practice the dying craft of home posing in Baselbiet? And what problems do they have to contend with? Exciting and moving picture of social and economic contexts and dependencies and living monument of a once flourishing craft. A milestone of Swiss documentary filmmaking
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Yenish Sounds
Martina Rieder
Switzerland
93′
A documentary film about Swiss musician and singer/songwriter Stephan Eicher, his Yéniche roots and the history and persecution of the Yéniche people in Switzerland and their links to Swiss music.
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Offshore
Werner Swiss Schweizer
Switzerland
102′
While managers of Swiss banks in the USA ruefully apologise for their tax evasions practices and customer data is disclosed to the American authorities, Rudolf Elmer, former auditor at bank Julius Bär, is indicted for violating the Swiss banking secrecy law on the Cayman Islands. Rudolf Elmer: from insider to critic.
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Do it (2000)
Sabine Gisiger
Switzerland
97′
Daniele von Arb was 16 years old in 1970 when he and his friends founded the revolutionary cell in Zurich later listed by the U.S. secret service CIA in its chart on international terrorism under the code name “Annebäbi”. Today he is a fortune-teller and future consultant. A hurtling journey through the armed struggle of the 1970s, entry into the cosmos of spirituality and finally, in 1989, a first class ticket to freedom.
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A Campaign of their Own
Lionel Rupp and Michael Mitchell
Switzerland
74′
Jonathan Katz strongly believes that candidate Bernie Sanders is the only hope for the United States of America threatened by Donald Trump. Sanders is a voice outside the establishment and has put new values and priorities into his political agenda. Pushed forward by his enthusiasm, Jonathan joins the thousands of women and men that rally around the caucuses supporting Senator Sanders.
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Les Nouvelles Èves
Anna Thommen, Thaïs Odermatt, Camile Budin, Jela Hasler and Wendy Pillonel
Switzerland
80′
June 2020, Corona, one year after the national women's strike. Six directors dive into the everyday life of six women and explore what it means to be a woman in today's Switzerland.
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Accordion Tribe (2004)
Stefan Schwietert
Switzerland
92′
Five highly original musicians from different countries form the Accordion Tribe. Together they aim to reinforce the original power of the long disdained instrument. The film follows the energetic soundscapes and their performers on a journey through Europe. An extraordinarily intensive documentary on the communicative, connecting power of music.
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Markus Raetz (2007)
Iwan Schumacher
Switzerland
75′
The Swiss artist Markus Raetz is an established figure in the international art world. For the film by Iwan Schumacher, the artist from Bern is for the first time giving a camera team an insight into his 40 years of work.
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Architektur der Unendlichkeit
Christoph Schaub
Switzerland
85′
Temporality and age are inherent in every object and creature and, depending on one’s outlook, may transcend to infinity. Schaub explores, together with the architects Peter Zumthor, Peter Märkli and Alvaro Siza Vieira, the artists James Turrell and Cristina Iglesias and drummer virtuoso Jojo Mayer, the magic of sacred spaces, defined here as far more than church buildings. Who owns spirituality?
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Handicapped Love (1978)
Marlies Graf Dätwyler
Switzerland
118′
Four young people with physical disabilities try to overcome their isolation and the difficulties of living together. In a vacation home, they talk openly with people with and without disabilities about the challenges they face in relationships and sexuality.
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Chris the Swiss
Anja Kofmel
Switzerland
90′
Croatia, January 1992. In the midst of the Yugoslav Wars, Chris, a young Swiss journalist is found dead in mysterious circumstances. He was wearing the uniform of an international mercenary group. Anja Kofmel was his cousin. As a little girl, she used to admire this handsome young man; now a grown-up woman, she decides to investigate his story, trying to understand what really was the involvement of Chris in the conflict
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Die vierte Gewalt
Dieter Fahrer
Switzerland
98′
The internet has changed everything, also for journalism: business models are falling by the wayside, news is available for free, anywhere and at any time. I accompany journalists in their daily lives, see how they struggle, and I do what they also do: I observe and ask, also question myself, my fascination and my suspicion. I, too, use the net with ease. I am a user – and I am used.
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Citoyen Nobel
Stéphane Goël
Switzerland
89′
The 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry transforms Jacques Dubochet’s life. Passing from the shadows to the light, he is solicited from all sides. What can he do with this voice, which is now being heard by everyone? How to define the struggles to be fought? How to become a “Nobel Citizen”, with the objective of assuming responsibility as a researcher and member of the human community? A speech by Greta Thunberg turns everything upside down.
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Kleine Heimat
Hans Haldimann
Switzerland
92′
Two women moved into a new housing estate in 1957. Now both are over 90 years old and could actually enjoy their retirement. But they have to leave their familiar surroundings after more than 60 years because the houses are being demolished.
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Madame
Stéphane Riethauser
Switzerland
93′
A double self-portrait in which a 90-year-old grandmother and her homosexual grandson confide in each other. With sincerity and humour, the film deconstructs gender stereotypes in depth and with subversive power and traces a family saga from bourgeois society with enchanting archive footage.
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Magic Matterhorn (1995)
Anka Schmid
Switzerland
83′
A playful search for today’s sentiments of home. The film takes us through real and imaginary worlds, confronts specific conditions of life with clichés and takes a delight in kitsch.
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Max Frisch, Citoyen (2008)
Matthias Von Gunten
Switzerland
94′
Max Frisch was the last great Swiss intellectual whose "voice" was widely heard and appreciated beyond the borders of his country: a character like none can be found today. Against the backdrop of the late 20th century, the film follows the story of Frisch.
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Max Haufler, der Stumme (1983)
Richard Dindo
Switzerland
92′
Max Haufler hated acting, but while he left his mark on Swiss filmmaking of the 1950s with his character roles, success as a film director eluded him. He tried in vain in the last years of his life to film the novel "Der Stumme" by Otto F. Walter. Max Haufler fought for his dream - until it broke him.
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Passagen (1972)
Fredi M. Murer
Switzerland
44′
H.R. Giger became known all over the world as the designer of the aliens in Ridley Scott's feature film ALIEN. In this documentary about H.R. Giger's work, which was made many years before, the artist's creative process and the interplay between conscious and unconscious influences are the focus. Statements by experts and contemporaries address the question of the artist's position and social responsibility.
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Passion
Christian Labhart
Switzerland
80′
Un film sur ma façon de vivre cette douloureuse réalité que le monde d’aujourd’hui n’est pas celui dont j’avais rêvé il y a 50 ans. Les images du monde d’aujourd’hui se télescopent avec des souvenirs fragmentaires, des textes poétiques et la Passion selon saint Matthieu de J. S. Bach. Un essai filmique sur la fragilité de mon existence à l’heure du capitalisme débridé.
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Paul Nizon: Der Nagel im Kopf
Christoph Kühn
Switzerland
84′
The film tells of the radical life-search by the Swiss writer Paul Nizon, born 1929 in Bern, Switzerland, who became what “he was meant to be” in Paris. Now 90-year-old, Paul Nizon grants insights into his life and work in a self-ironic, direct manner. The intimate portrait of a great literary outsider emerges, for whom the risk of life and the risk of writing merge into one and the same work of art.
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Paul Nizon: Un clou dans la tête
Christoph Kühn
Switzerland
81′
The film tells of the radical life-search by the Swiss writer Paul Nizon, born 1929 in Bern, Switzerland, who became what “he was meant to be” in Paris. Now 90-year-old, Paul Nizon grants insights into his life and work in a self-ironic, direct manner. The intimate portrait of a great literary outsider emerges, for whom the risk of life and the risk of writing merge into one and the same work of art.
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Picture of Light (1993)
Peter Mettler
Switzerland
87′
An hallucinatory tale of a filmmaker’s journey to Canada’s Arctic in search of the Northern Lights – an encounter with the gulf between the knowable and the ineffable, between humankind’s need to capture and control Nature, and Nature’s refusal to be caught… aurora borealis, the lights with no bodies pouring colours from the sky… more special than any special effect…
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The End of Time
Peter Mettler
Switzerland
114′
Peter Mettler's film essay explores our perceptions and mental representations of time. This visual reflection on the origins, the conditions and the effects of our existence aims to give a vivid impression of how we experience our present moment and of how each of us impacts the future.
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Von der Rolle
Verena Endtner
Switzerland
88′
What happens when fathers do more family work than mothers? An overview of families where traditional roles have been reversed. The director's experiences with children are reflected in the film in the form of short animations.
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W. - Was von der Lüge bleibt
Rolando Colla
Switzerland
111′
The autobiography of Bruno Wilkomirski, who described his childhood in a concentration camp in it, led to a scandal, because it was exposed as fiction. Interviews and archive material are used to investigate the motives of the man who turned his personal trauma as an orphan in Switzerland into a collective Jewish trauma and thus became a perpetrator himself.
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Walter Pfeiffer - Chasing Beauty
Iwan Schumacher
Switzerland
89′
At an age when others might look for a quieter life, Walter Pfeiffer had burst onto the international scene as an artist and fashion photographer - which is a joy to see. Alongside those who accompanied Pfeiffer through this journey, we also hear from his former models. We discover what they gained from agreeing to be photographed. And as he only photographed the young, we catch glimpses of youth culture over four decades.
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Wer sind wir?
Edgar Hagen
Switzerland
99′
Helena (19) and Jonas (11) are both severely handicapped and permanently dependent on support. In their being different and with the difficulty of expressing their needs, they put parents and family, school and caregivers, but also society to the test. How do we deal with it if our expectations of life are not fulfilled? How do we integrate the unexpected into our everyday life? Helena and Jonas succeed with support from their environment.
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Where We Belong
Jacqueline Zünd
Switzerland
78′
Parents split up, a family falls apart. Two separate worlds emerge from what once was considered a unity. In constant transition, children now live between two homes. WHERE WE BELONG approaches their reality and focuses on how fragile children are, but also how brave, smart and funny they respond to their situation.
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Welcome to Switzerland
Sabine Gisiger
Switzerland
81′
In the summer of 2015, one million refugees seek sanctuary in Europe. 40,000 reach Switzerland. Andreas Glarner, mayor of the wealthiest municipality in Aargau, wants to set an example and refuses to accommodate ten refugees in his village. Johanna Gündel, student and daughter of a local vegetable farmer, fights this policy with like-minded villagers. The film tells the story of Switzerland in times of the so-called refugee crisis.
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Einfach Leben
Hans Haldimann
Switzerland
99′
A co-operative that was founded in 1993 in Ticino (the Alpine southernmost Canton of Switzerland) by Ulrich Stamani and 12 other people continues to prosper as a small farm and eco-resort thanks to the help and support of people like Katharina Luthi, a skilled farmer. Over the course of a year the co-operative has to readjust itself to the needs of its members and try to find new younger people to progress the simple life it preserves.
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Urban Amazons
Thaïs Odermatt
Switzerland
68′
Modern Amazons are fierce heroines. They are ready to fight for what is important to them. Without explaining, without compromising, always persisting. They fight for victory in the ring, for acceptance, and also, for fellow sufferers and humanit
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Beyond Boobs
Stéphane Correa and Kristen Vermilyea
Switzerland
52′
Boobs. Melons. Bazookas: American director Kristen Vermilyea has large breasts, neck pain, back pain and balance issues.
 Her decision to get a reduction triggers questions about identity, aging and bodies. Kristen departs on a series of wacky and humorous adventures before going under the knife.
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Being with Animals
Salome Pitschen
Switzerland
91′
Is it possible to talk with animals? The filmmaker explores the world of animal communication. She wants to understand her excited dog Bina. On her international journey she meets two horse teachers, an animal communicator, a biologist, an animal therapist and the founder of The Trust Technique. Salome discovers astonishing possibilities of animal communication, whether it's with her dog Bina, other dogs, horses, cats, dolphins, or a goat.
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Digitalkarma
Mark Olexa and Francesca Scalisi
Switzerland
78′
In a remote village nestled in the foggy hills of northern Bangladesh, Rupa fights against a predetermined destiny. With only a bike, a camera and her knowledge, she defies traditions and tries to make a place for herself in her community. When a twist of fate hits her family, Rupa’s freedom is threatened. Will she be able to maintain the fragile balance between the expectations of her loved ones and her own dreams?
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Geister & Gäste: In Memoriam Grand Hotel Brissago (1989)
Isa Hesse-Rabinovitch
Switzerland
85′
A poetic journey through time to the history of the legendary "Grand Hotel Brissago".
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L' Apollon de Gaza
Nicolas Wadimoff
Switzerland
79′
In 2013, an ancient statue of Apollo, the god of arts, beauty and divinations, is found off the coast of Gaza. When it disappears under strange circumstances, rumors quickly spread regarding this mysterious treasure. Both an investigative film and a reflection on history, The Apollo of Gaza immerses us in the little-known reality of a land ravaged by wars and blockades.
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No Man Is an Island
Dominique Marchais
France
96′
No Man Is an Island travels across Europe, from the farmers working together in the Galline Felici cooperative in Sicily to the architects, craftspersons and elected representatives who collaborate in the Swiss Alps and in Austria. All are engaged in politics through their work and all believe in a common destiny. Is the local level the last possible place for a viable utopia?
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Tomorrow
Mélanie Laurent and Cyril Dion
France
120′
Instead of stressing the imagination of disaster, French actress Mélanie Laurent and activist Cyril Dion try to show scientific solutions to the ideological fallacies of modern industrialism and mass consumerism.
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Citoyen Nobel
Stéphane Goël
Switzerland
89′
The 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry transforms Jacques Dubochet’s life. Passing from the shadows to the light, he is solicited from all sides. What can he do with this voice, which is now being heard by everyone? How to define the struggles to be fought? How to become a “Nobel Citizen”, with the objective of assuming responsibility as a researcher and member of the human community? A speech by Greta Thunberg turns everything upside down.
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I am Greta
Nathan Grossman
Sweden
101′
Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old student in Sweden, started a school strike for the climate as her question for adults was, if you don’t care about my future on earth, why should I care about my future in school? Within months, her strike evolved into a global movement as the quiet teenage girl on the autism spectrum becomes a world-famous activist.
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Einfach Leben
Hans Haldimann
Switzerland
99′
A co-operative that was founded in 1993 in Ticino (the Alpine southernmost Canton of Switzerland) by Ulrich Stamani and 12 other people continues to prosper as a small farm and eco-resort thanks to the help and support of people like Katharina Luthi, a skilled farmer. Over the course of a year the co-operative has to readjust itself to the needs of its members and try to find new younger people to progress the simple life it preserves.
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Wild Plants
Nicolas Humbert
Switzerland
109′
Wild Plants are plants that seed themselves on fallow land, take possession of seemingly uninhabitable terrain and create new habitats. But wild plants are also people who create their own utopias and become impulse generators for others. People live in many scattered places around the world and projects are growing in which botanical and biographical uncontrolled growth are combined.
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Ecuador
Jacques Sarasin
Ecuador
75′
In a world of one-way traffic, where the northern countries are exporting their economic and political model worldwide, one country in Latin America has undertaken a profound reform of these models to invent a new type of governance, both pragmatic and humanistic. The country in question is Ecuador. Rafael Correa, an established economist, who came to politics as a man on a mission, was elected President in 2006. Since coming to power, he has transformed a country with archaic structures into a social, independent, ecological and participative democracy. He has given Ecuadorians genuine reason to believe that the rigid structures of the past were no longer inevitable, that ordinary citizens had their word to say, and that, at long last, their voices would be heard. This film is intended for everyone, from rich and emerging countries alike. It suggests concrete perspectives to a new way of living the phenomenon of globalization. It shows that political, ecological and economic alternatives do exist. This film is not a film about Ecuador; rather, is about a political project, where utopia became reality. It is a film of ideas and reflections, suggesting solutions to the current crises besetting the globe. It proposes a real debate on the future of our society
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Pepe Mujica - El presidente
Heidi Specogna
Germany
93′
A former resistance fighter who is elected president of Uruguay and donates almost 90 percent of his salary to social projects: Pepe Mujica, one of Latin America's most charismatic personalities, has become known as "the poorest president in the world". He has always remained true to his ideals, having spent many years in prison for political reasons. His modest lifestyle - he lives in a small finca instead of a government palace - and his unconventional appearance underpin his credibility with young and old. Pepe Mujica represents his concerns with humour, intellect and passion, and his political commitment to a more just society attracts international attention and encouragement. Filmmaker Heidi Specogna and her cameraman Rainer Hoffmann often visited Pepe Mujica and his wife Lucía Topolansky and accompanied them with their cameras. This is how the portrait of an extraordinary person was created, who, at almost 80 years of age, has retained his courage, his wit, his humanity and his strong hope for change. "Pepe Mujica - el presidente" is an optimistic and moving film that inspires courage.
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Fukushima - No Man's Zone
Toshi Fujiwara
Japan
105′
A man wanders through the 20-kilometre exclusion zone around the stricken nuclear reactors at Fukushima. The cherry trees are in bloom and the natural surroundings make an idyllic impression. Radiation is invisible, yet a gaping emptiness looms where the tsunami engulfed streets and houses. The man is wearing normal clothing, just like the people still toughing it out here, for the time being at least. He occa- sionally encounters white "ghosts" in protective clothing, performing strange tasks. As in Tarkovsky’s STALKER, the zone in Fujiwara Toshi’s NO MAN’S ZONE is both a place and a mental state. A gradual disintegration began long before the destruction and devastation, a process defied for the most part by the old people our "Stalker" encounters. A voice accom- panies the filmmaker’s wanderings, that of Armenian-Canadian actress Arsinée Khanjian, a voice from a place of exile, unfamiliar and sympathetic. NO MAN’S ZONE is a complex reflection on the relationship between images and fears, on being addicted to the apocalypse, on the ravaged relationship between man and nature. For the zone to be decontam- inated and returned to the people, nature itself will have to undergo an amputation.
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Surviving the Tsunami - My Atomic Aunt
Kyoko Miyake
Japan
78′
Once amongst avid admirers of nuclear plants and their managers, Aunt Kuniko and her community are on the verge of disintegration in the aftermath of the nuclear catastrophe. Director Kyoko Miyake, having lived outside of Japan for more than a decade, revisits Fukushima.
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Transformance
Alan Smithee
Switzerland
68′
For the first time in the history of mankind, we are forced to seriously consider the future of the Earth, and to do so in a global context. We need new energy concepts: energy production, distribution and consumption must be fundamentally redefined and organized. Despite all the challenges, there are also unique opportunities in this transformation process. How do we tackle the future? Which concepts are promising? Where do we stand?
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Machines
Rahul Jain
India
71′
This portrayal of the rhythm of life and work in a gigantic textile factory in Gujarat, India, moves through the corridors and bowels of the enormously disorienting structure—taking the viewer on a journey of dehumanizing physical labor and intense hardship.
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Writing With Fire
Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh
India
93′
In a cluttered news landscape dominated by men, emerges India's only newspaper run by Dalit women. Armed with smartphones, Chief Reporter Meera and her journalists break traditions, be it on the frontlines of India's biggest issues or within the confines of their homes, redefining what it means to be powerful.
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Captains of Zaatari
Ali El Arabi
Egypt
77′
Mahmoud and Fawzi have been living in the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan. Though they both have no sense of what the future holds for them, they focus their energy together on their first love: soccer. Despite the dire circumstances in the camp, they practice day in and day out, believing firmly that playing professionally is their ticket to freedom. When Aspire Academy, one of the world’s leading sports academies, arrives to pick players for an international tournament in Doha, they quickly identify Mahmoud as a talent and fly him there, while Fawzi is left behind due to a technicality. Mahmoud is boarding a plane for the first time and is taking in the experience, while Fawzi is facing the difficult reality in Zaatari. Unexpectedly, the Aspire coaches decide to fly Fawzi in to join his team. The two best friends train and compete in the most important soccer matches of their lives, while their families in Zaatari watch via satellite. After the final match, they speak at a press conference. On behalf of the displaced people of Syria, they make clear that people need an opportunity, not pity. Three years later they grew to young men. They are still stuck in Zaatari, still troubled by fears of an insecure future.
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Maidan
Sergei Loznitsa
Ukraine
134′
MAIDAN chronicles the civil uprising against the regime of president Yanukovych that took place in Kiev (Ukraine) in the winter of 2013/14. The film follows the progress of the revolution: from peaceful rallies, half a million strong, in the Maidan square, to the bloody street battles between protestors and riot police. MAIDAN is a portrait of an awakening nation, rediscovering its identity.
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Weiterleben
Hans Haldimann
Switzerland
88′
A film about people who have fought for more freedom and justice – and have had to pay dearly for it. The two women and two men from Tibet, Congo, Chile, and Turkey now live in Switzerland. In their native countries they were badly tortured for their human rights efforts. Nevertheless, they have not lost their belief in a better world.
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Siamo italiani (1964)
Alexander J. Seiler
Switzerland
76′
More than 500 000 Italians live and work in Switzerland. They are considered a „problem“. An over-employed economy needs their labour – a small nation of distinct peculiarity perceives them as foreign objects. They live beyond the barrier of a different language. Discussed as a problem, they remain unknown as human beings.
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Notturno
Gianfranco Rosi
Italy
100′
For three years, Gianfranco Rosi filmed in the respective border areas of the countries Syria, Iraq, Kurdistan and Lebanon, filming people who are affected and traumatized by the wars in the region on alternating sides. His interest is always in the subtle interplay of everydayness, beauty and catastrophe.
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A Story of One's Own
Amandine Gay
France
101′
Filmmaker and activist Amandine Gay was listed under ‘X’ as a child in France, abandoned by her mother to grow up in a white family. ‘A Story of One’s Own’ pass the mic to five people who, like herself, carry in themselves the experience of being adopted. Separated not only from their unknown biological parents and countries of birth but also from the story about themselves.
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Advocate
Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaïche
Israel
109′
Lea Tsemel, a Jewish-Israeli lawyer, defends Palestinians: from feminists to fundamentalists, from nonviolent demonstrators to armed militants. As far as most Israelis are concerned, she defends the indefensible. As far as Palestinians are concerned, she’s more than an attorney, she’s an ally. «Advocate» follows Tsemel in real time, including the trial of a 13-year-old boy — her youngest client to date.
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Burma VJ (2008)
Anders Østergaard
Denmark
85′
Beyond the occasional news clip from Burma, the acclaimed filmmaker Anders Østergaard, brings us close to Burma’s video journalists who insist on keeping up the flow of news from their closed country despite risking torture and life in jail. Armed with small handycams they make their undercover reportages, smuggle the material out of the country, and broadcast back into Burma via satellite or offered as free usage for international media.
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I am Not Your Negro
Raoul Peck
Haiti
93′
Told entirely in the words of James Baldwin, through both personal appearances and the text of his final unfinished book project, I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO touches on the lives and assassinations of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Medgar Evers to bring powerful clarity to how the image and reality of Blacks in America today is fabricated and enforced.
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Machines
Rahul Jain
India
71′
This portrayal of the rhythm of life and work in a gigantic textile factory in Gujarat, India, moves through the corridors and bowels of the enormously disorienting structure—taking the viewer on a journey of dehumanizing physical labor and intense hardship.
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with bonus
Mon cousin anglais
Karim Sayad
Switzerland
82′
STREAMING PREMIERE - starting March 12th 2021 In 2001, Fahed arrived in the UK, his head full of dreams. In 2018, facing a mid-life crisis, he now has a decision to make. Will he continue to buckle down, working 50 hours between the kebab shop and the factory, or will he return to Algeria, a country he fled in the hope of making a better life for himself?
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Nothing is Forgiven
Vincent Coen and Guillaume Vandenberghe
Belgium
62′
This Charlie Hebdo staffer is being filmed since 2011, when the young Moroccan journalist came to France as she couldn't work in her own country anymore. We follow Zineb El Rhazoui before, during and after the attack on the satire magazine in Paris. From being a censored journalist she becomes the most protected woman of Europe. Never afraid, but then she falls in love and gets pregnant. What now?
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On the Inside of a Military Dictatorship
Karen Stokkendal Poulsen
Denmark
98′
The entire world praised the military and Aung San Suu Kyi, when power was passed on to the democracy icon after 50 years of military dictatorship. One year later she defended an ethnic cleansing and had isolated herself from the public. This film tells you why. It’s the story of how power struggles unfold and how political enemies can end up being closer than the ones they claim to fight for: the people.
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Wake Up on Mars
Dea Gjinovci
Switzerland
74′
A Roma boy living in Sweden dreams of building a spaceship to escape the reality of his family's pending asylum request, and the mysterious coma-like illness that has befallen his siblings.
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The Monopoly of Violence
David Dufresne
France
89′
As anger and resentment grow in the face of social inequalities, many citizens-led protests are being repressed with an ever-increasing violence. In this documentary, David Dufresne gathers a panel of citizens to question, exchange and confront their views on the social order and the legitimacy of the use of force by the State.
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Welcome to Switzerland
Sabine Gisiger
Switzerland
81′
In the summer of 2015, one million refugees seek sanctuary in Europe. 40,000 reach Switzerland. Andreas Glarner, mayor of the wealthiest municipality in Aargau, wants to set an example and refuses to accommodate ten refugees in his village. Johanna Gündel, student and daughter of a local vegetable farmer, fights this policy with like-minded villagers. The film tells the story of Switzerland in times of the so-called refugee crisis.
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A Thousand Girls Like Me
Sahra Mani
Afghanistan
80′
Khatera Golzad, a 23-year-old Afghani woman, was sexually abused by her own father for many years. To denounce his behaviour and finally obtain justice, she has to confront her family as well as the traditions of both her country and a legal system that almost never stands up for women. This documentary combines in an artistic portrait the words courage and feminism in a way that is seldom seen.
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Los lobos
Samuel Kishi Leopo
Mexico
95′
Young brothers Max and Leo dream of going to Disneyland, but having just emigrated from Mexico to the USA they first have to settle in their new homeland. And they have to stick to the seven rules their mother has set down for them.
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Il buco
Michelangelo Frammartino
Italy
93′
The extraordinary adventure of the young members of the Piedmont Speleological Group who, having already explored all the caves of Northern Italy, changed course in August 1961 and went South to explore other caves unknown to man.
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Sans soleil (1983)
Chris. Marker
France
104′
Chris Marker, filmmaker, poet, novelist, photographer, editor, and now videographer and digital multimedia artist, has been challenging moviegoers, philosophers, and himself for years with his complex queries about time, memory, and the rapid advancement of life on this planet. Sans Soleil is his mind-bending free-form travelogue that journeys from Africa to Japan.
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Chris the Swiss
Anja Kofmel
Switzerland
90′
Croatia, January 1992. In the midst of the Yugoslav Wars, Chris, a young Swiss journalist is found dead in mysterious circumstances. He was wearing the uniform of an international mercenary group. Anja Kofmel was his cousin. As a little girl, she used to admire this handsome young man; now a grown-up woman, she decides to investigate his story, trying to understand what really was the involvement of Chris in the conflict
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Searching for Sugar Man
Malik Bendjelloul
Sweden
86′
Two South Africans set out to discover what happened to their unlikely musical hero, the mysterious 1970s rock 'n' roller, Rodriguez. The film won Best Documentary at the 85th Academy Awards.
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Gabriel and the Mountain
Fellipe Barbosa
Tanzania
131′
Before entering a prestigious American university, Gabriel Buchmann decided to travel the world for one year, his backpack full of dreams. After ten months on the road, he arrived in Kenya determined to discover the African continent. Until he reached the top of Mount Mulanje, Malawi, his last destination.
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with bonus
Félicité
Alain Gomis
Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa)
124′
Félicité is a proud and independent woman who works as a singer in a bar in Kinshasa. Whenever she goes on stage, she appears to leave the world and her everyday worries behind. Her audiences are quickly infected by the rhythm of her music and her powerful, melancholy melodies. But then one day Félicité’s son has a terrible accident. Whilst he is in hospital she desperately tries to raise the money needed for his operation. A breathless tour through the impoverished streets and the wealthier districts of the Congolese capital ensues. One of the bar’s regulars is a man named Tabu who has been known to get carried away in every sense of the term. Tabu offers to help Félicité. Reluctantly, she accepts. After his spell in hospital, Félicité’s son has a hard time picking up his old life, but it is lady’s man Tabu of all people who manages to coax him out of his shell. Félicité’s sparsely furnished flat with its permanently defunct fridge becomes a mini utopia in a country that holds no hope for most of its population. The trio forms an eccentric community thrown together by fate, each of whom is free to go their separate ways together.
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The Reunion
Anna Odell
Sweden
89′
A film between fiction and reality, highlighting questions about group dynamics and established hierarchies. A group of people meet for their high school reunion 20 years later. One of them talks about her being bullied and outcast and soon the former classmates fall back to the roles they used to have back in school. But this is just half of the film.
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Piedra Sola
Alejandro Telémaco Tarraf
Argentina
72′
Inside the Argentinian highlands, a native llama herder follows the traces of an invisible puma who is killing his livestock. Through his search, a mystical exchange is revealed between him, his ancestors and the changing form of the puma.
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