Here We Are. Here We Go.: Swiss Documentaries on Adolescence
The world is in the midst of a seismic shift, and the human race is experiencing and learning about life, society and culture anew. In this time of history, we have discovered greater divides among people from different backgrounds much more than we were aware of. How to deal with differences and changes? How can we come to terms with challenges? How do we place ourselves in the world?
“Here We Are. Here We Go.: Swiss Documentaries on Adolescence” celebrates the human spirit for survival and hope by looking into how adolescents and their families from different backgrounds feel, contemplate and tackle difficulties – how they develop their mental stamina and coping mechanism and find their place in the world. People from all walks of life form a universal tension that drives where the world is marching towards. Youngsters are our future, and how adults enlighten them to love and resolve discrepancies is their future. These unusual and intimate stories of growing up from different parts of the world will inspire us about a thing or two.
4/2 (Thu) 2:30pm* Who's Afraid of Alice Miller?
5/2 (Fri) 2:30pm* Who Are We?
6/2 (Sat) 3:30pm* Wake Up on Mars
6/2 (Sat) 7:30pm* Sapelo
7/2 (Sun) 2:30pm* The Journey - A Story of Love
7/2 (Sun) 7:30pm* Under the Skin
*With online after-screening talk. Conducted in English.
Who’s Afraid of Alice Miller?
Switzerland｜2020｜101 mins｜HD｜Colour｜In German with English subtitles
Nominated for the Prix du Soleure – Jury Award, Solothurn Film Festival 2020
Don’t want to be sad anymore
4/2 (Thu) 7:30pm*
*With online after-screening talk to start at 9:45pm. Conducted in English.
This is a story of how the unspeakable trauma of war gets passed down to generations. Martin has experienced a childhood without love – he has been physically and emotionally abused by his father, and has been rejected with coldness by his mother, the world-famous Swiss child psychologist, Alice Miller. While Alice Miller becomes an authority in the field of children's rights and education, Martin’s plight as a child has been treated by his mother with what feels like indifference or even hate. To understand his own trauma of parental neglect, Martin embarks on a journey to discover the drama behind everything – the Shoah, the annihilation of the Jewish people, from which his mother in Poland has barely escaped.
Who Are We? / Wer sind wir?
Switzerland｜ 2019｜ 98 mins ｜HD ｜ Colour ｜ In German with English subtitles
Millennium Docs Against Gravity Film Festival (Poland) 2020
Solothurn Film Festival 2020
IDFA International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam 2019
A new experience of love
5/2 (Fri) 7:30pm*
*With online after-screening talk to start at 9:30pm. Conducted in English.
Helena (19) and Jonas (11) are both severely handicapped and have high support needs. Ostracised for being different and having the difficulty of expressing their needs, they put their parents, families, schools and society to the test. However, the film shows that new social networks can be cultivated and it is evident that social cohesion is crucial for improving the experience and quality of life - not only for Helena and Jonas but also for everyone in their environment. The film breaks the wall that surrounds people with special needs, and shows how a common language and community can help us understand human nature and better ourselves, posing the question of who we are.
Wake Up on Mars / Réveil sur Mars
Switzerland, France｜2020｜74 mins｜HD｜Colour｜In Albanian and Swedish with English subtitles
Nominated for Best Documentary Feature, Tribeca Film Festival New York 2020
Nominated for International Dox Award, Dokufest International Documentary and Short Film Festival (Kosovo) 2020
Nominated for Best Documentary Feature, Hainan International Film Festival 2020
Visions du Réel, International Documentary Film Festival Nyon 2020
Where are my sisters? Where are we?
6/2 (Sat) 3:00pm*
*With online after-screening talk to start at 4:30pm. Conducted in English.
In Sweden, after a Kosovor family’s request for asylum has been rejected, two sisters of the family start to develop a mysterious malady, resignation syndrome, until they lie in a vegetative state. Their devoted parents work their best to keep the children alive, and try to rebuild a normal life far from their native Kosovo where they are victims of persecution due to their ethnicity. As the family’s future hangs in the balance of another pending asylum request, its youngest brother dreams of building a spaceship to escape the reality of his sisters’ illness. This film is a powerful and captivating metaphor for the contemporary refugee experience. Will the family stay in Sweden? Will the sisters wake up?
Switzerland｜2020｜92 mins｜HD｜Colour｜In English with English subtitles
Best Feature Film, Visions du Réel, International Documentary Film Festival Nyon 2020
Best Documentary Feature, Ojai Film Festival 2020
Nominated for Best Documentary Feature, Nashville Film Festival 2020
A distant past. A lost present.
6/2 (Sat) 7:30pm*
*With online after-screening talk to start at 9:20pm. Conducted in English.
Two young brothers, JerMarkest (11) and Johnathan (10), are growing up on the picturesque and isolated barrier island of Sapelo. Accompanied by their adoptive 70-something year old mother, Cornelia, they experience the joy of exploring the island under her loving care.
Sapelo was once a destination for slave traders, and became a sanctuary for those freed after the American civil war. It is also the last remaining enclave of the Saltwater Geechee people, which are originally from West Africa. Cornelia works to preserve what remains of this unique community established by her ancestors. Reflecting on the complicated splendour of her youth, Cornelia strives to shepherd her sons through theirs. At the dawn of adolescence, the brothers inherit her hope, but begin to clash with each other and the wider world.
The Journey – A Story of Love / Immer und Ewig
Switzerland｜2018｜85 mins｜HD｜ Colour｜In German with English subtitles
Best Documentary Film and Best Film Score, Swiss Film Award 2020
Prix du Soleure – Jury Award, Solothurn Film Festival 2019
Locarno International Film Festival 2019
Shanghai International Film Festival 2019
International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film 2018
In sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part
7/2 (Sun) 3:00pm*
*With online after-screening talk to start at 4:45pm. Conducted in English.
This is an affectionate and intimate portrait of the director’s parents in their sixties, who travel through the world in a caravan refurbished as a mobile nursing room. The father is a restlessly inventive photographer, and the mother is the love of his life. While she has been paralysed from the neck down for the last 20 years, he has been devoting his life unflaggingly to care for his wife, helping her break the restrictions of her immobile body. With courage, wit and charm they wrest from life, what it still holds are worth living for. But what happens to love, when the circumstances of life change so drastically? This is a gripping homage to life and a love story that has weathered all crises.
Under the Skin / Sous la peau
Switzerland｜2019｜85 mins｜HD｜Colour｜ In French with English subtitles
Audience Award, International Festival of Audiovisual Programmes (Biarritz, France) 2020
Geneva International Film Festival 2020
International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film 2019
Gender is boundless
7/2 (Sun) 7:30pm*
*With online after-screening talk to start at 9:15pm. Conducted in English.
Because Robin Harsch’s friend was starting an organisation for young people who were LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, or questioning), he became curious and started filming an unfamiliar topic. With great sensitivity and openness, Harsh took two years to film three trans teenagers - Soän, Logan and Mixair/Effie Alexandra – along the road towards transition and the conquest of a desired identity. The film tackles delicate gender issues, and allow those directly affected by these matters to express their truth. Faced with the oppression of heteronormative society which thinks in generally sterile and binary terms, it takes these protagonists determination, strength and courage to be themselves. They “encourage us to hope and believe in a society where all of the finer nuances of humanity can be expressed and enjoyed without sterile and dangerous prejudices.”
Individual tickets: $60
Tickets are now available at Hong Kong Movie 6.
Online screening platform：Vimeo
Online after-screening talk platform：Zoom
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Co-Presenters: Hong Kong Arts Centre and Swiss Films