Produced by Zurich outfit Vega Film, Stéphanie Chuat and Véronique Reymond’s new work Schwesterlein revolves around a strong woman grappling with life’s dilemmas, a theme of ongoing interest to the two Swiss directors.
Following the success of their first feature film The Little Room (2010) which was presented in a world premiere at the Locarno Film Festival, selected to represent Switzerland at the Academy Awards and which was honoured with two Quartz prizes (Best Fiction Film and Best Screenplay), the duo of Swiss directors joined forces once again in 2018 to offer up Ladies, a documentary which was subsequently selected to participate in a number of festivals (Visions du Réel, Solothurn and Locarno, to name but a few), as well as being nominated for the Swiss Film Award in the category of Best Documentary.
As the saying goes, good things come in threes, and on this note, post-production on their latest work of fiction Schwesterlein is almost finished. There is no cinema release date as yet, nor is there any news on its possible selection to participate in Swiss or European festivals. But, going by the information that has transpired to date, some interesting surprises would appear to be in store.
Ever since her twin brother Sven’s Leukaemia diagnosis, Lisa seems to be losing her foothold on life. Married to Martin, a manager in a private school, Lisa decides to abandon her career as a playwright in Berlin, following her husband to Switzerland to start a family. But the more Sven’s health deteriorates, the more pressing the existential questions linked to Lisa’s daily life become. She decides to reconnect with her Berlin roots and her true aspirations. There will be consequences, however, for this radical metamorphosis, and Lisa and Martin’s relationship will not come out unscathed.
The international cast includes a host of well-known names: Nina Hoss (who has made a name for herself in recent years through her close working relationship with director Christian Petzold: Yella, Jerichow, Barbara and Phoenix, Lars Eidinger (who has starred in a number international films: Everyone Else by Maren Ade, Clouds of Sils Maria and Personal Shopper by Olivier Assayas, as well as many others), Jens Albinus (a regular collaborator of Lars Von Trier), Marthe Keller (whose immense career has seen her work with directors of such calibre as Claude Lelouch, Billy Wilder and Clint Eastwood, as well as numerous Swiss filmmakers, such as Laurent Nègre via Fragile, for which she won a Quartz award for Best Supporting Actor, and Barbet Schroeder via Amnesia) and, last but not least, Thomas Ostermeier (Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres and recipient of Venice’s Golden Lion for Career Achievement, who, since 1999, has served as director and artistic director of the Schaubühne theatre).