Chris the Swiss
Direction: Anja Kofmel
The Balkans, Januar 1992. Only a few months after Croatia´s declaration of Independene from the Jugoslav confederation, the bloody civil war reached its peak. One early morning the body of 27-year-od Swiss journalist Christian Würtenberg is found near the border between Serbia and Croatia. His lifeless corpse wears the uniform of an international mercenary force. In fact, Würtenberg became a member of the “First Platoon of international Volunteers” (PIV). Eduardo Rosza Flores, former journalist himself and now the commander of this force, claims that Serbian snipers killed “Chris the Swiss” during a nightly patrol. But according to the autopsy, Würtenberg had been strangled. Since the mysterious death of the swiss, rumours have been circulating: The right-wing PIV-mercenaries are claimed to be involved in drug and arms trafficking and being financed by the ultra-catholic organization Opus Dei. Paul Jenks, a British photographer friend of Chris´ starts researching. But before the Brit cam make his discover public, he himself is murdered. This second incident prevents other journalists in the area from asking further questions.
Beginning on the day of Chris´ death and the impressions of little Anja “Chris the Swiss” is a story of a young man who got lost in the dark and brutal world. It is also a story about a woman who sets out to find the murderer of her cousin. The film takes us into the history of a family on the one hand, and into the shadowy milieu of mercenaries on the other, via a range of controversial political questions.
Nominated for the Documentary Film Prize of the Goethe-Institut and the MDR-Filmprize.
A Dschoint Ventschr filmproduction (CH); Co-production Ma.ja.de., Nukleus Film (HR) and IV Films (FI). In Cooperation with SRF, SRG SSR und YLE. Animation and Postproduktion by Balance Film. Supported through Eurimages, Bundesamt für Kultur, Zürcher Filmstiftung, Succés Cinéma, Lotteriefonds Kanon Solothurn, SSA, Suissimage, Ernst Göhner Stiftung, Focal, Verena Josephson, Croatian Audiovisual Centre, Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung Finnish Film Foundation.