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Swiss films

Here's a collection of some works by Swiss filmmakers that have survived beyond their time of origin, telling stories from the period they were produced in, portraying people and asking questions about the country and its society. You will find outstanding documentaries as well as feature films.

Passagen (1972)
Fredi M. Murer
Switzerland
45′
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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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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The Song of Mary Blane (2019)
Bruno Moll
Switzerland
86′
The painter from Solothurn (CH) Frank Buchser was sent to the USA in 1866 to paint a large painting of the "Heroes of the Civil War" for the future Council of States Hall in Bern. Initially Buchser was busy portraying politicians and generals in the spirit of his clients. More and more, however, he became interested in the Indians expelled to the reservations and in the living conditions of the slaves who had just been freed. Years earlier, fascinated by Moorish culture, Frank Buchser rides disguised as a Turkish sheikh to the Moroccan town of Fez, which is forbidden to Christians under death penalty. The Swiss filmmaker Bruno Moll (Pizza Bethlehem, Tunisreise) tells the two adventurous journeys of the rebellious and controversial artist. The film narrative begins with film documents of the riots in Charlottesville in August 2017 and the diary entries made by Frank Buchser in 1869, when General Lee was his model for the portrait. In a large flashback the film tells Buchser's story of his stay in Andalusia and Morocco in 1858, returns with him to his homeland and closes with his North American adventure.
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Urs Fischer (2010)
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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Wild Plants (2016)
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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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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Passion (2019)
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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Where We Belong (2019)
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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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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Baghdad in My Shadow (2019)
Samir Jamal Aldin
Switzerland
104′
A failed author, a wife in hiding, a clandestine gay IT-specialist meet in an Iraqi café in London. Incited by a radical Sheik, the author's nephew attacks them and turns their lives upside down.
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Von der Rolle (2019)
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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Architektur der Unendlichkeit (2018)
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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Amiet (2011)
Iwan Schumacher
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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Matlosa (1981)
Villi Hermann
Switzerland
94′
Alfredo seems to lead the life of so many Ticinese families born in the valleys, who now only go back to their native village for the weekend. But Alfredo doesn’t longer experiences the journey as a form of escapism, but as an obsessive rite which is repeated over and over again. Alfredo has lost his own identity.
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Cronofobia (2018)
Francesco Rizzi
Switzerland
90′
Suter is a lonely guy, constantly in motion, escaping his true self. During the day, he travels through Switzerland, creating new identities and incognito evaluating the quality of customer service in shops and hotel rooms, while at night, he secretly observes the life of another lonely person: Anna, a rebel struggling with complicated grief. But this fragile balance is soon destroyed, when Anna finds out about Suter’s dark secret.
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