Palavers

[original title:  Palaver, Palaver]

Switzerland 1990. 16, colour, ca 90 min.
 

In the autumn of 1989, Benno Beson rehearses Max Frisch's "Jonas and his veteran - a palaver" at the "Schauspielhaus Zürich" in German, an at the same time in French at the "Théâtre de Vidy" in Lausanne. A veteran of the "border watch" of 1939-45 - recognizably the author himself - and his grandson, Jonas, take a critical look at the issue, which also dominates the political scene in the autumn of 1989: do we need an army, or can we do away with it? That's what the Swiss electorate shall decide on the end of November by majority vote - a democratic decision unprecedent in history. The film follows Benno Besson from the rehearsals to the opening nights in Zurich and Lausanne. At the same time, it shows the public debate from the time of the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the mobilization, up to the vote and its results. A play by Max Frisch and a piece of Democracy: a double chronicle of an artistic an political process.

DirectorAlexander J. Seiler
ScriptAlexander J. Seiler
PhotographyRob Gnant, Thomas Krempke
SoundFelix Singer, Ingrid Städeli
EditingMirjam Krakenberger
Durationca 90 min.
Screening formats16
Shooting format16
VersionsGerman/Swiss-German/French
Contact, World RightsAlexander Seiler
Pflanzschulstrasse 95, CH-8004 Zürich
+41 44 451 45 44
ajseiler@bluewin.ch
ProductionZyklop Film AG, Filmkollektiv Zürich AG, SRG, SDR, WDR