// Presented as part of Filmatique's Swiss Films Series //
Spotlight on Those Who Are Fine
Cyril Schäublin / Switzerland, 2017 / Locarno, Adana, Bilbao, Black Canvas Mexico City, Das Filmfest Prag, Edinburgh, Kiev, New Directors / New Films, Lima, Mar del Plata, Montevideo, Murcia IBAFF, Rotterdam, San Francisco, São Paulo, Shanghai, Solothurner Filmtage, Split, Thessaloniki / 71'
Alice works in a call center in the outskirts of Zurich. She spends her days conversing with strangers, selling them deals on telecom and insurance packages. After work she meanders seamlessly through the city's parks and various security checkpoints; she also meets elderly women to collect envelopes filled with cash. In fact, Alice has been calling these lonely women posing as a granddaughter in urgent need of money, a scam that has quickly brought her a fortune. Two police detectives are alerted to the fraudulent scheme, and set off in search of the perpetrator in an anonymous city.
Stylish and wry in equal measure, Dene Wos Guet Geit (Those Who Are Fine) offers a sharp yet expansive view of contemporary existence by analyzing humanity's relationship with capital, technology and urban space. Cyril Schäublin's first film premiered at Rotterdam, Thessaloniki, New Directors / New Films, Mar del Plata, São Paulo and Shanghai; Uruguay International Film Festival, where it won a Special Mention for Best First Film; Edinburgh, where it won Best International Feature Film; Murcia IBAFF, where it won Best Feature; and Locarno, where it won a Special Mention for First Feature.
"Stylishly alienating… The Zurich depicted here seems devoid of air and light, a cold and dystopian society in which people go about their daily lives with robotic regularity. The modernistic architecture is similarly forbidding, providing a bleak environment that DP Silvan Hillman often shoots from high above to accentuate its large scale and lack of warmth. Policemen are shown stopping people to conduct random bag checks as a result of a bomb threat, but you get the feeling that it's simply a matter of routine. The dialogue more often than not consists of characters stiltedly exchanging details about bank accounts (how Swiss!), internet passwords, data plans and other technical minutiae. It's as if humanity had been rendered digital, reduced to a series of 0's and 1's. Even when people try to connect on a more intimate level, such as describing a film they've recently watched, they're unable to remember something as basic as its title"
- Frank Scheck, New Directors / New Films Review, The Hollywood Reporter