Mehdi Sahebi, CH, 2023, 99'
WORLD Premiere
Sun. 6.8.2023, 11h00, La Sala
Mon. 7.8.2023, 9h00, Palacinema 1

en / it / de / fr

Does fate hold you captive? Are humans predestined to lead the life they have to lead? These are the questions the protagonists - and thus inevitably the spectators - ask themselves in Mehdi Sahebi's film "Prisoners of Fate". How much should we resist? Which moral, physical and, ultimately, geographical limits are we allowed to cross to be able to escape such a fate, nonetheless?

The film follows people over several years. The protagonists fled from the Middle East to Switzerland and are struggling to adapt to social and bureaucratic everyday life. "I saw a naked girl for the first time" says a young man. The time he spent with the Swiss boy scouts was the best time of his life, he adds. But then the face of the 16-year-old immediately darkens when he confesses that he cries every night because he misses his parents, who have remained in his home country. The Iranian family’s experience is similar. They have to look after their youngest daughter while traipsing from one office to another in an attempt to have their minor son, who was arrested during their flight, join them in Switzerland.

The trauma these people suffer gradually becomes apparent in their faces shown in close-up. While the conversations are very moving, the moments of silence and pausing are even more touching. "Prisoners of Fate" has succeeded in capturing an empathetic and courageous look from within, without engaging in self-censorship for fear of political misunderstandings and sensitivities.

Teresa Vena