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Thunder film image, director Carmen Jaquier



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The year is 1900 in the French-speaking Swiss Alps. Elisabeth (Lilith Grasmug), 17, is forced to leave her convent because her sister, Innocente, has died and the family farm needs another hand. So far, so classical, but what begins as a gorgeously photographed tale of a deeply religious community eking out a subsistence living soon evolves into a fever dream of sexual hysteria when Elisabeth, emboldened by her sister’s explicit journal, seeks spiritual enlightenment through sexual exultation.

First-time writer-director Carmen Jaquier tackles some big issues here—religious repression vs. female liberation via sexuality; the relationship between religious ecstasy and orgasmic pleasures; the body vs. the spirit—but the foundational point of her story is the dramatization and embrace of the vividness of being alive: the bracingly fresh air, crystalline running water, effusive vegetation, and above all, the penetrating light of the immense mountain setting. Replete with indelible images that will remain with you for days, Thunder marks a bold debut from a talent to watch.


Supported by


Lilith Grasmug, Mermoz Melchior, Benjamin Python, Noah Watzlawick, Sabine Timoteo, François Revaclier

Country of Origin





In French with English subtitles

Film Contact
92 min
Drama Women Directors

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Flavia Zanon, Joëlle Bertossa


Carmen Jaquier


Marine Atlan


Xavier Sirven

Production Design

Ivan Niclass, Rekha Musale

Original Music

Nicolas Rabaeus


Carmen Jaquier headshot, Thunder director

Carmen Jaquier

Born in Geneva, Switzerland, Carmen Jaquier studied graphic design before entering the Cantonal School of Art in Lausanne (ECAL). Her films have been showcased at the Locarno Film Festival: her graduation film Le Tombeau des filles (2011) received the Pardino d’argento, and La Rivière sous la langue and Heimatland were selected in 2015. She was a cinematographer on the documentary A Bright Light: Karen and the Process (2018), which was presented at Visions du Réel. Thunder is her first feature film.