Happy 30 Semaine!
Semaine de la Critique
This year marks not only an exciting beginning for the Locarno Film Festival with its promising new Artistic Director, Lili Hinstin, but also the 30th anniversary of its loyal companion, the so-called cherry on top: the Semaine de la critique. An independent section of the Festival that was, in partnership with Locarno, founded in 1990 by the Swiss Association of Film Journalists and has, ever since, offered an enriching variety of documentaries. Each year, the Semaine de la critique skilfully curates an exquisite selection – with international and world premieres from well-established as well as up-and-coming directors – confronting rather than soothing the audience’s conscious, letting them dive into other worlds by showing films that come from countries such as Germany, Switzerland, France as well as Hungary and Iran. General delegate Marco Zucchi explains, «We receive a great number of submissions which usually portray, within the context of contemporaneity, a diverse range of current realities – of intimate, political, ecological or social nature.»
Apart from the seven feature-length documentaries, one more film will be shown in honor of this edition as it was once prominently screened in the Semaine’s first edition exactly 30 years ago. A movie that accords with the artistry of this year’s Pardo alla carriera recipient, Fredi M. Murer: his film Der grüne Berg (1990) will be shown in a newly-restored version and thus complete this season of the Semaine de la critique. Besides special screening of Murer’s work, this edition’s appointed jury members stand for the history of the section: «Normally the jury members that we choose every year have different backgrounds, ranging from former politicians to ambassadors to directors, as we like to keep the well-balanced formation thanks to its heterogenic character,» elaborates Zucchi. «Yet for this year’s anniversary, we asked three former delegates of the Semaine de la critique, Jean Perret, Mariano Morace and Stéphane Gobbo – the latter who was my predecessor. Thus all three of them embody in a way an homage to the Semaine.»
While celebrating an anniversary is often a sweet indulgence into the colourful past, it may also mark an outlook on a bright future. If Marco Zucchi is sure of one thing, it’s that «the past 30 years of this section have proved that it works well and that the Semaine de la critique has found its audience in which I personally have a lot of faith. As far as the future is concerned, nothing has to be changed for now. I’m convinced that it will evolve organically.»
But for now, let’s celebrate the Semaine de la critique by confiding yet again in this marvellous curation.