Our next screening is a modern Swiss “Heimatfilm” based on 100.000 true stories by former child labourers from Switzerland

2011, 103 min, dir. Markus Imboden, starring Katja Riemann, Max Hubacher, German with English subtitles


TIME: 5.00 p.m.

VENUE: Howard College, MTB West Wing, 1st Floor, German Programme, Media Room F251

About the film:
The most successful Swiss film in the past six years deals with a shameful chapter in the history of a country that is so often seen in a positive light. From the early 1800s to the 1950s thousands of Swiss children who were orphaned, illegitimate or from impoverished families were sent to work on farms as cheap labour. This horrible custom continued until after WWII. Its last victims are still alive, some of whom told their tragic stories to Markus Imboden, including his own father. Today, many survivors are fighting for recognition from the Swiss government, and “The Foster Boy” is the story of their collective memories.

Set in the 1950s this deeply moving drama follows 12-year-old Max, an orphaned Verdingbub (discarded child) who suffers abuse at the hands of his host family while authorities turn a blind eye. With only his passion for playing the accordion and friendship with 15-year-old girl laborer Berteli to sustain him, Max’s ordeal is one you won’t soon forget. Talented newcomer Max Hubacher gives an extraordinary central performance in this searing examination of a subject that has rarely been discussed publicly until now.

Swiss director Markus Imboden, who works mainly for the German television station ZDF, looks at a serious chapter in the history of his own country. He was born 1955 in Interlaken. He studied German studies and history at the University of Zurich. Since 1986, he has been an independent film director and screenwriter. His feature film The Foster Boy has become the most successful Swiss film.

For further details please contact: 

Dr Marion Pape
Head, German Studies
University of KwaZulu-Natal
School of Arts
Durban, 4041
Email: papem@ukzn.ac.za
Tel: 0027-31-260 1086 / 2380
Fax: 0027-31-260 1242

Posted on