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Chris the Swiss Image

Chris the Swiss

Impact | Documentaries

In 1992, at the height of the war in the Balkans, sometime-war reporter and shady character Christian Wurtenberg was found strangled in a field in Croatia while wearing the uniform of a right-wing mercenary brigade. A handsome risk-taker, Wurtenberg left his middle-class family in Switzerland to seek adventure and ended up reporting on the strife in the Balkans. But, evidently, that position was not adventurous enough… Filmmaker Anja Kofmel, Wurtenberg’s’ cousin, was just 10 years old at the time of his death, but now she has crafted a unique combination of investigative documentary and speculative animation that seeks to solve her cousin’s case. Her film mixes interviews, archival newsreel footage, selections from Wurtenberg’s diaries and radio reportage, and her own beautifully executed hand-drawn animation in an effort to piece together her cousin’s movements and involvement with the PIV, a foreign mercenary troupe led by the mysterious Bolivian known as "Chico." As she digs deeper, the facts become murkier and the theories about Wurtenberg’s death—one of them even supplied by Carlos the Jackal via a phone call from prison—multiply…

"Kofmel goes on a magical mystery tour into the darker corners of her own family history with… [this] stylish blend of hand-drawn animation and investigative documentary… A lovingly crafted passion project… [Kofmel’s film is a] stirring, suspenseful and technically accomplished work."—Stephen Dalton, Hollywood Reporter

North American premiere
Director Anja Kofmel
Country of Origin: Switzerland/Croatia/Germany/Finland
Year: 2018
Running Time: 90 mins
Format: DCP
Language:In Swiss-German, German, English, Spanish with English subtitles
Related Links: Trailer | Variety Review
Featuring: Megan Gay, Joel Basman, Michael Würtenberg, Veronika Schwab, Carlos Ilich
Executive Producer: Sereina Gabathuler
Producer: Samir, Siniša Juricic, Heino Deckert, Iikka Vehkalahti
Cinematographer: Simon Guy Fässler
Editor: Stefan Kälin
Music: Marcel Vaid
Production Company: Dschoint Ventschr Filmproduktion AG, Nukleus Film, MA.JA.DE. Filmproduktion, IV Films
Print Source: Urban Distribution International


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