DOK Leipzig Film Festival

Chris the Swiss

Chris the Swiss

Christian Würtenberg died in Croatia in 1992. Even though the young Swiss had come as a journalist, he was wearing the uniform of an international militia that fought on the Croatian side in the civil war. Why he took up arms has long remained a mystery. His cousin, the filmmaker Anja Kofmel, has confronted the question.

She interviews companions, complementing the documentary footage with dark, pared-down animated sequences which form the film’s narrative structure. Diving deeply into the political turmoil, the film portrays Chris’s path towards joining a group of nationalist mercenaries supported by Opus Dei. A politically explosive film even today, a visually impressive thriller that shows how quickly a person’s attitude can be devastated by war.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann

Nominated for the Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize and the MDR Film Prize; Swiss Film Award 2019: Best Documentary, Best Score, Best Editing

Original Title: Chris the Swiss
Country: Switzerland, Germany, Croatia, Finland
Year: 2018
Language: English, French, German, Spanish, Swiss German
Subtitle: English, German
Runtime: 90 min.
Technique: 2D Digital, Drawn
Format: DCP
Color: Colour and B&W
Director: Anja Kofmel
Producer: Samir (Dschoint Ventschr), Siniša Juričić (Nukleus Film), Heino Deckert (, Iikka Vehkalahti (IV Films Ltd / p.s.72 productions)
Cinematographer: Simon Guy Fässler
Editor: Stefan Kälin
Animation: Simon Eltz
Sound: Daniel Hobi, Marco Teufen, Hrvoje Petek
Music: Marcel Vaid
Script: Anja Kofmel

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig 2018 catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author's name. All articles where no author’s name is given are production notes.