Dear friends of the Saas-Fee Filmfest, energy doesn't go to waste ... Imagine the collected energy of a beautiful, blooming Saas-Fee larch, even though it may be only as old as cinema itself. Say 114 years. Snap shot! Imagine all this energy like a space which stores the wishes, the dreams, the fears and the desires of the people, the tree experienced. This is cinema! And now we open our eyes, it is dark. What a coincidence, we are seated inside Cinema Rex, how nice, it is still existing! The projector starts to run, it's the opening night of the 6. Saas-Fee Filmfest, where all these collected stories come to the big screen. A quick round view, how nice to meet you all again! The festival adds on to these stories and makes the energy grow even more. From the first synapse over glances, handshakes, screams of joy up to the annual reunion and the welcoming of festival newcomers. Warmest thanks to all of you, who support the festival, without you it wouldn't be possible! All my best wishes for a long life to film, the Saas-Fee Filmfest, Cinema Rex and the Saas-Fee larches, Film ab!
The cinema of today makes the climb up to Saas-Fee once again in 2019, settling in our lovely village to bring us meditations on identity, tough explorations of grief and exciting journeys of discovery.
Quite appropriately, our home turf of Switzerland contributes two films that investigate the domestic despair of nuclear families from within. Home is defined by the tension between a past returning and a dissolving future, exposing the lies and fears that each gender must reckon with.
France calls our ear to frequencies of drama that are not too dissimilar, focusing on the mutual responsibility that binds mothers and sons, uncles and nieces. Meanwhile in Germany, the space of hotels and rooms becomes a prison of the mind, which requires a more primal, uncomplicated approach to find a way out.
And where the voice of Austrian cinema reaches Saas-Fee as one single entity, it is a challenging, arresting body and soul that demands audience. Finally my native Italy, a country ever in tumult, is well represented by two films opposite in spirits and goals, though each peculiar in its own right. And may the question mark in one of the titles, dreamy and evocative in its melancholy, be an invitation for the Saas-Fee audience to answer the call from our 5 festival countries. Film ab!