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A view from the top

Panorama Suisse

A view from the top

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© freihändler Filmproduktion

A view from the top

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© maximage

A view from the top

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© C-Side Productions

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Every year, the Panorama Suisse section shines an additional light on recent Swiss productions that have enjoyed a fruitful domestic and international life, ranging from commercial success to festival acclaim. This year’s line-up is no exception, boasting films that enjoyed their world premieres in festivals such as Venice (All Inclusive), Toronto (Der Unschuldige) and the Berlinale (Baracoa and Where We Belong). It’s ten features and one short, fairly evenly split between fiction and documentary and spanning all three of the major linguistic areas in Switzerland. The selection committee, consisting of representatives of SWISS FILMS, the Swiss Film Academy and the Solothurn Film Festival, has assembled a program that is suitable for a wide range of audience tastes, from arthouse aficionados to regular cinema dwellers. From the latter standpoint, it was impossible to not give a slot to Michael Steiner’s Wolkenbruch’s Wondrous Journey into the Arms of a Shiksa: a veritable box office smash (284,000 admissions in German-speaking Switzerland alone, beating the American blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War), the film was recently chosen to represent its home country at the Oscars in the International Feature Film category, and is also the first Swiss film to ever be acquired by Netflix. Equally popular was Zwingli, Stefan Haupt’s ambitious depiction of the life of the man who challenged Catholic traditions in Zurich. Young filmmaking from Ticino is well represented by Cronofobia, Francesco Rizzi’s confidently odd, tender and at times disturbing feature debut, while the documentary form goes both boldly big (Christoph Schaub’s Architektur der Unendlichkeit) and touchingly small. The latter camp is perhaps best embodied by Fanny Bräuning’s Immer und ewig and Stéphane Riethauser’s Madame, two very different but similarly intimate character studies where the filmmakers themselves and/or their family are at the center of personal, yet profoundly universal musings. As universal as the viewers, Swiss and international alike, who get to enjoy these films every morning at Palexpo FEVI, in the context of a Festival where these titles belong, to paraphrase the title of Jacqueline Zünd’s latest documentary.

Max Borg

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