An adventure and a collective ritual

by Alain Berset, Federal Department , Head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs

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Locarno is a cinematic adventure and collective ritual in one. A cherished custom with a playfully subversive side. An enduring Ticino idyll that resonates around the world in the midst of our hectic everyday lives while also offering us a standing invitation, year after year, to have our worldview upended. Or at least – in keeping with Swiss moderation – to let it tremble quietly. 

Never has this double-sided experience been more important than this summer, at a time when we are all hoping that the most difficult chapter in our post-war history will finally come to an end. Never have we been so eager to finally share the cinema with other people – or better yet, to sit together in the Piazza Grande. Never have we expected so much from outstanding films and their power to help us navigate a world that now seems more familiar than it has for the last year and a half – and yet retains a certain strangeness. 

No one knows what the world will look like after Covid. But one thing we do know: we need film, we need festivals, we need the inspiration and dialogue that they generate if we are to prepare ourselves mentally and spiritually for the new normal, which probably won’t actually feel normal for quite some time. 

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