Zurich Film Festival, 13th Edition

Santiago CINEMA December 10, 2017

By Maite Plimmer


It’s a wrap! Another resounding success for the Zurich Film Festival that
took place as usual at the end of September.

Nadja Schildknecht and Karl Spoerri, founders and co-directors of the Festival, have worked incessantly to make Zurich a hub of magic during the 2 weeks of its duration.The number of visitors rose by around 8.5% to 98.300 (previous year: 90.500). With its 160 films, including European premieres, Special screenings, Competitions, parties, International Film Music awards, Tributes and of course, The Golden eye awards, we have been thoroughly spoilt and pampered for choice.

These are some of my personal favorites. I have to admit that with the exception of a few movies this year, most were very thought provoking and upon leaving the cinema, I took a while to come back to my own reality. I have the feeling that the movie industry is reflecting the current situation of self-introspection.

“All I see is you” Directed by German Marc Foster. Freud would have had a field day with this one. Dealing with obsessive love. It really touches insecurity, dependency and the fragility of a relationship when changes occur and after years of being blind, one of the partners is able to see and hence no longer depend on the other for everything. The photography is outstanding. The morale of the story being, “The more you force something, the more it tries to escape you.”

“Molly’s Game” Ιmagine fast dialogue, sexy smart and manipulative female, wealthy poker players, Russian Mafia, Italian mafia, FBI and Idris Elba. Need I say more? Chastain is phenomenal in the role; she is going places. Aaron Sorkin is a master king and as such got a Career Achievement Award at the Festival. This was his directorial debut , based on the true story of Molly Bloom. The Swiss crowd was very touched when he stated this was his first trip to Zurich and Switzerland, and that after being here for 30 hours, he never wanted to leave.

“Another News Story”, I experienced many emotions whilst watching this documentary by Orban Wallace. Anger, shock, and a deep understanding of all parties involved. I cried, I had a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach and in the meantime experienced very mixed feelings about the media, who can colour or tarnish a story, depending on how they report it. The best documentary about the refugee crisis I have seen so far.

“Breath” set in Australia; the photography was out of this world. The personalities of all involved were very strong. The roles were well portrayed. The father was my favourite character, very traditional and so aware of the danger his son was going towards but always on standby and trusting him to find his own voice. It was Simon Bakers directorial debut and as well as producing the movie, he starred in it too.

“Breathe” was sublime. Oscar material without a doubt. It confirms that in order for a miracle to occur, unconditional love and determination must be part of the equation. Great casting, to the very last role. Colorful, unforgettable, sad, beautiful, cruel and altruistic. Life at its best. Congratulations Andy Serkis! My very favourite movie of this 13th ZFF. The Special Gala was in presence of Andrew Garfield (Cast), Andy Serkis (Director), Claire Foy (Cast), William Nicholson (Screenplay), Jonathan Cavendish (Producer), Diana Cavendish ( whose life and her families the movie was based on) The movie was made in 7 weeks and with a very low budget. Bravo once more! Andrew Garfield was presented with a Golden Icon award for his great contribution to cinema so far.

“The Wife” It was a great performance by the hybrid Glenn Close. It is a beautifully sad movie. Ego, unconditional love gone wrong and a whole load of family mythology. I liked the Scandinavian realism and the great attention to detail. The Gala premiere was in presence of Glenn Close (Cast), Annie Starke (Cast) and Björn Runge (Director). Glenn Close received a Golden Icon award and dedicated it to her daughter who was also present and played an important role in the movie too.

“An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” Former US Vice President Al Gore attended the Zurich Film Festival and presented this controversial yet powerful documentary to a crowd with mixed emotions.

There were many more I would like to mention but instead, I will leave you with the link to the festival’s webpage www.zff.com and ask you to come over to Zurich next year and join the fun, the lights, the parties, the green carpet and the Swiss.