Hanka Nobis receives the Zurich Film Award for Best Director (30.10.2023). Excerpt from the jury statement: The debut film impressively shows, through the development of its young protagonist, that years of polarisation of the political landscape in Poland have led to a division in society. Thus the film becomes not only a sensitive mirror of a young generation, but also a portrait of an entire nation. With exceptional access, an empathetic camera, fluid editing and a musical concept that springs directly from within the youth movements, the filmmaker creates an uncompromising work that raises many questions and opens up a debate that needs to be conducted not only in Poland. Zurich Film Award
One of the most touching and hopeful documentaries in a long time! – ARTTV https://arttv.ch/film/polish-prayers/
A riveting debut – as illuminating as it is shocking. – FILMUFORIA
A powerful and uncompromising work – and a touching debut, intense and profound without being judgmental. – CINEUROPA
As a traditional Catholic in Poland, 22-year-old Antek holds deeply conservative views. But when he falls in love for the first time, he begins to have doubts – first about the prohibition of premarital sex and finally about the existence of God.
The 22-year-old Antek is destined to become the religious leader of the ultra-conservative Polish Brotherhood. The Brotherhood organises counter-demonstrations to LGBTQI+ events and meets for masculinity rituals in the forest. But when Antek is about to be promoted, he begins to question the moral principles he has spent years fighting for.
Over the course of four years, filmmaker Hanka Nobis accompanies the charismatic and sensitive young man, who identifies less and less with traditional values. In exchange with a constantly changing circle of friends, Antek develops his own opinion on what it means to be a good person.
CEFAM | Families arc en ciel | Pinkcross | Kath.ch
Five senior citizens dare to step into the unknown. For 18 months, they will participate in a training based on mindfulness and altruism, which will be measured for a study. The aim is to evaluate the effects of meditation on ageing. The film tells their personal journey and mirrors it with scientific objectivity and the challenges of ageing well in our society. Living longer and longer – yes, but how?
Beyond the adventure of these seniors citizens, the film shows meditation as a way to connect with oneself and one’s surroundings. It illuminates the realities of this path with stumbling blocks, moments of doubt, gratitude, joy and sometimes relief.
CHUV Lausanne | CNP Neuchâtel | Ensemble Hospitalier de la Côte | HÔPITAUX UNIVERSITAIRES GENÈVE | Mindfulness Swiss | Pro Senectute Schweiz | UNIVERSITÉ DE GENÈVE |
In a near future, the Japanese government programme “Plan 75” encourages older people to die voluntarily in order to combat the ageing of society. A senior citizen who can no longer live independently, a pragmatic “Plan 75” salesman and a young Filipino caregiver face a life-or-death decision.
Chie Hayakawa’s PLAN 75 is a wonderfully humanistic story that imaginatively uses Japan’s ageing crisis as a template for a dystopian narrative. But PLAN 75 is not all gloom. By following Michiko, Maria and Hiromu on their journey, director Hayakawa celebrates life and all its everyday, small pleasures. The centrepiece within this triptych of stories is Michiko, embodied by the formidable Chieko Baisho, an independent senior citizen who turns to “Plan 75” as her last option.
PLAN 75 reçoit les trois prix les plus importants au Festival du Film International de Fribourg : Grand Prix, the Critics’ Choice Award et Comundo Youth Jury Award
Our big partner: GINMAKU FILM FESTIVAL ZURICH
Spectacular costume drama from Algeria
Algeria, 1516. The pirate Aroudj Barbarossa, together with King Salim Toumi, drives the Spanish occupiers out of Algiers. But the peace is short-lived: rumour has it that Barbarossa has murdered the king and declared himself ruler. When everyone from the royal court flees, only Queen Zaphira stands up to him. Between history and legend, her rebellion tells of the personal and political turmoil she endures for the sake of Algiers.
The cinema spectacle from Algeria is the first of its kind and reproduces the multilingual and diverse world of the Maghreb at historical sites. Told for the first time from a female perspective, THE LAST QUEEN – EL AKHIRA breaks with tradition and creates space for a woman who becomes a heroine in adversity.
It is a story Algerians have never seen before and they need it to dig deep into their history and culture. – Cineuropa
The debut feature co-directed by Algerian director-actress Adila Bendimerad and French-Algerian director Damien Ounouri – immerses us, swinging between refined court life and bloody battles, royal splendour and fights to the last blood.
to the last blood. – Cineuropa
Co-director/co-writer Damien Ounouri described the film as
a costume drama, and he wasn’t lying. But it felt like so much more. It felt like a good episode of Game of Thrones. – Universal Cinema
The Last Queen (113 minutes) explores under-represented chapters of history and offers ample space for expurgated perspectives and voices. It is an intimate and beautifully shot period piece about a complicated female heroic figure. – High on Films