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Swiss bring darkness, documentaries and dilemmas to Cannes

With the 70th Cannes Film Festival screening four films that have Swiss involvement, swissinfo.ch takes a look at the eclectic offerings. The festival opens on Wednesday.

The French-Swiss documentary The Venerable W. by Barbet Schroeder (Bande a part Films) accompanies an influential Buddhist monk in Myanmar. It willbe presented in the Special Screenings programme.

According to Swiss Filmsexternal link, the agency that promotes Swiss cinema, “meeting [the monk] amounts to travelling to the heart of everyday racism and observing how Islamophobia and hate speech lead to violence and destruction”.

Two co-productions with Italy by production houses in Ticino will be screened in Cannesexternal link this year. Sicilian Ghost Story by Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza (Ventura Film),featuring the Swiss actress Sabine Timoteo,opens this year’s Critics’ Week section.

Described by Variety as “the Brothers Grimm meets the Mafia”, the filmtells the story of Luna, who refuses to accept the mysterious disappearance of her 13-year-old classmate Giuseppe and must descend into a dark and unknown world to find him.

The Intruder by Leonardo di Costanzo (Amka Films Productions) tells the story of a Neapolitan social worker confronted with a moral choice in her battle against criminal mentality. The Italian-Swiss-French co-production has been selected for screening in the prestigious Directors’ Fortnight section.

The documentary film Before Summer Ends by Geneva director Maryam Goormaghtigh (Intermezzo Films) has been selected as the opening film of the parallel section ACID (Association for Independent Cinema and its Distribution in France).

The Swiss-French co-production accompanies three friends on an adventurous road trip through France. After five years of studying in Paris, Arash decides to return to Iran after his final exams. His two friends Ashkan and Hossein hope to change his mind by taking him on a last trip to the South of France.