(My hands are getting sorer and sorer)
Germany / Swiss 1996
Dir: Rudolf Barmettler
46 min., 16mm, 1:1.37, Color
Produktion: Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film München. Buch, Schnitt: Rudolf Barmettler. Kamera: Matthias Rajmann. Assistenz: Christof Bilger. Ton: Regina Krotil. Aufnahmeleitung: Aldo Gugolz. Herstellungsleitung: Evelyne Stangassinger.
Darsteller: Heinz Dolderer (Jakob), Lars Studer (Kurier I), Peter Macchi (Kurier II), Armin Furrer (Kurier III), Nicolai Rauch (der Ältere), Ingo Schweizer (Merkle), Urs Rüegger (Meier), Hense Dettli (Gärtner), Kenneth Huber (der Jüngere, Rekrut), Bruno Mathys (Spediteur), Simon Kern (BMW-Fahrer), Thomas Schärer (Bauer I), Rudolf Barmettler (Bauer II), Paul Kaiser (Bauer III), Madeleina Bundi (Serviertochter), Marietta Steiger (Stimme aus dem Auto), Regina Krotil (Unbekannte im Zug), René Rufer (Gast).
Uraufführung: 15.2.1997, Internationales Forum des Jungen Films.
Weltvertrieb: Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film, Abt. IV, Evelyne Stangassinger, Frankenthalerstr. 23, D-81539 München, Tel. (49-89) 68 000 440, Fax: (49-89) 68 000 489.
Sat 15.02. 17:00 Akademie der Künste
I can't stand by any more and watch what is happening to the oldest democracy in Europe, where hypocrisy is legalised and indifference towards all kinds of worldwide inequality changes to cynicism. This is the country which has the highest income per person in the whole world. As far as the administration of foreign capital is concerned, Swiss banks are leading worldwide; as a money market Switzerland is number three worldwide; in the gold market and the reinsurance business the Swiss are also leading; 25 - 33 % of all money smuggled out of third world countries is in Swiss banks. Bribes are tax deductable.
One asks oneself how far legalised fraud, which is totally part of mentality in business transactions, will become part of the whole human character?
This film is neither a pure comedy nor a pure tragedy, but more a portrayal of the customs and morality of a country. We tried the down to earth approach of something close to realism.
If one looks closely at the juxtaposition of the various human types, marked by more or less subtle exaggeration, from irony to mockery, from indirect criticism to polemics at the absurd and bizarre situations, then one could almost say this is a satire.
When a building is about to be erected in Switzerland, big wooden posts are put into the earth to show exactly where the building will stand. The Swiss people should be able to see everything, should be informed and, if necessary, should be able to protest against a particular building. During the months of January and February 1996, many different building sites in the Canton of Luzern were marked with these wooden posts, and a film crew could be seen moving around in their vicinity. Exactly where a thin branch could be seen lying in the moss, a twig amongst the stones, a chip of wood in the snow, the camera was mounted. In the weeks before, when it was very cold, the film director, Rudolf Barmettler, stood alone in these places, observing, making rough drawings in his sketchbook, taking a few steps in this direction or that, a few steps backwards; he observed and drew, drew and observed, and marked all the camera angles. (...)
It is winter. There is snow on both slopes on each side of the motorway bridge. In the surrounding countryside, we see woods and new plantations of trees, bushes, the edges of a field. The camera has been positioned under the bridge. The cars passing along above thunder like a drumbeat when their tyres hit the rift between bridge and base. In front of the woods, on the right hand side, a regional train passes by. Jacob strides down the steep drop of the bridge and runs along, over a small road which goes under the bridge and then over another cement bridge. Roads and nature merge.
The route which Jacob is taking leads from the Finance Office in the countryside into the city, and all the shots which follow lead us through the changing countryside. It is the route from the little village of Reitnau into the city of Luzern. The orchards are gradually replaced by houses, the countryside becomes like the city. The character of this landscape, and the truth which is connected with it, were important to the filmmaker; he was not looking for sensational attractions, which might be found here and there, and which could - via the editing - be put together to make a colourful commercial film. The alternative is either to show what really exists, what is happening around us and with us, or pretend to be astonished at false sensations. (...)
In the end Jacob is put head first into the icy water of a trough, by farmers on their farm, whilst the FA/18 bombers of the Swiss Army are landing thunderously on a nearby runway. Before putting him under water, one of the sober voices of the Apocalypse says to Jacob: "Does not the human community develop best if the individual can lay his hands on the biggest possible profit of his work?"
The film was built out of the wooden poles, the posts and the sketches of the Canton of Luzern. Switzerland, January 1996. History becomes film. (Wilhelm Gottlieb, in: Filmkritik, November 7th, 1996)
Rudolf Barmettler was born in 1956 and grew up in Switzerland. In 1978 he graduated from the Art College in Luzern with a degree in Graphic Design. Between 1985 and 1993 he studied at the College for Television and Film in Munich. Since then he has been working as author and cameraman for documentary films and as an artist in the field of applied typography.
1978 Augenblicke (16mm, 17 Min.). 1984: Les peintres négligés (S-8, 35 Min.). 1985: Nicht die Signalzeichen (16mm, 15 Min.). 1986: Odenwaldstetten II (zus. mit A. Gugolz, A. Kebinger, M. Fluck, P. Nestler, 16mm, 50 Min.). 1989: Gegen die Arglist der Zeit (16mm, 45 Min.). 1991: Probenarbeiten zu ,Antigone des Sophokles' von J.-M. Straub und Daničle Huillet (Video-8, Dok., 8 Std. 25 Minuten).
© 1997 by International Forum of New Cinema. All rights reserved.