Critique : And Tomorrow We Will Be Dead
par Giorgia Del Don
- Michael Steiner raconte l’incroyable et épouvantable histoire d’un couple de Suisses pris en otages pendant huit mois par un groupe de combattants talibans
Cet article est disponible en anglais.
Presented in a world premiere in the opening slot of the Zurich Film Festival, And Tomorrow We Will Be Dead [+lire aussi :
fiche film] confirms Swiss director Michael Steiner’s knack for creating high-quality film productions capable of winning over increasingly vast audiences. It’s a rare quality, especially among Swiss filmmakers, and one which could already be seen in The Awakening of Motti Wolkenbruch [+lire aussi :
fiche film], a comedy which thoroughly thrilled audiences (Swiss and foreign alike) and which earned the director an impressive four nominations for the 2019 Swiss Film Prize.
Terribly topical, the harrowing story told in And Tomorrow We Will Be Dead is that of a Swiss couple (Daniela Widmer and David Och) who, in 2011, while following in the footsteps of Marco Polo, were kidnapped (in Pakistan) and held hostage for eight months by a group of Taliban fighters. It’s a story which had rocked public opinion in Switzerland, and which is still considered extraordinary today, given that these are the only two hostages, to date, to have successfully escaped their captors. Starring Morgane Ferru and the unmissable Sven Schelker, the film was shot in Rajasthan, India, and between Zurich and Aargau in Switzerland, as well as in the Sierra Nevada region of southern Spain, a decision partly motivated by the Covid 19 pandemic which prevented the production team from travelling back to India to continue the film shoot.
Right from the outset, Michael Steiner’s objective was to tell Daniela and David’s incredible, terrifying tale from their point of view, exploring the emotions and fears they felt, over and above the controversy surrounding their escape: what if it had been staged in order to conceal a ransom payment which wasn’t officially allowed? Is it really possible to escape an armed group which has no respect for human life? These are questions which continue to plague this very personal story, one whose plausibility and dignity the Swiss director attempts to restore. Unquestionably, a journey like the one embarked upon by the Swiss couple would inevitably have had its dangers and, unquestionably, their naivety played a considerable part in their bad luck, but, ultimately, what they endured was real and utterly hair-raising. And these real facts and high emotions posed the greatest challenge to the film’s two lead actors, who had to get to grips with flesh and blood characters who were still embroiled in an affair which will never, ever leave them. Convincing overall and never exaggerated - the main story explores complex and unexpected interpersonal relationships, such as that which unfolds between the two hostages and the commander of the Taliban group holding them hostage, Nazarjan (played by Siddhant Karnick), and the violence carried out against women which becomes an everyday thing – this is a deeply engrossing and well-structured work. And although we inevitably find ourselves rooting for Daniela and David, hoping that they’ll be freed or that they’ll finally manage to escape, we can’t help but think about the many others who won’t ever break free from such a nightmare. And even if they do, they’ll inevitably carry it around with them as an indelible, terrifying memory.
And Tomorrow We Will Be Dead is produced by Zodiac Pictures Ltd, SRF Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen, blue+ Blue Entertainment AG and SRG SSR,]. Sold worldwide by The Playmaker, the movie will be released in Switzerland’s German language cinemas on 28 October 2021 and in its French speaking counterparts on 2 February 2022, courtesy of Walt Disney. It will also hit German and Austrian screens in spring 2022.
(Traduit de l'italien)
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