Chris the Swiss

DIRECTOR(S): Anja Kofmel   COUNTRIES: Switzerland, Germany, Croatia, Finland   YEAR: 2018   LANGUAGE(S): English, French, German, Spanish, Swiss German   SUBTITLES: German   RUNNING TIME: 90 min

SECTION: International Forum 2019

Thurdsay, 03.10., 12.30 pm, kommkino
Friday, 04.10., 8 pm, kommkino, Q&A with Markus Krohn (Sound Design)


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, DOK Leipzig)
“Chris the Swiss is a lovingly crafted passion project, especially the animated sequences, in which Kofmel re-creates the kind of dark fantasy imagery that her 10-year-old imagination conjured up on first hearing of her cousin’s death in a faraway land. Poetically rendered in hand-drawn monochrome, these gothic dreamscapes are inhabited by nightmarish figures of evil, robed in sinister swirls of feathery blackness. [It] is a fascinating, moving elegy for doomed youth.” (Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter)


Anja Kofmel was born in Lugano, Switzerland, in 1982. She studied animation at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. In 2009, she finished her diploma project, the prize-winning shortfilm Chrigi, which deals with the brutal homicide of her cousin Chris. Between 2015 and 2017 she spend most of her time in Croatia and Germany where she worked as the art director of an international team of animators to create Chris the Swiss. This Anima-Doc further investigates her cousins assassination.


Strichcode (2004), Je Suisse (2005), Boxer Box (2006), Chrigi (2009), Chris the Swiss (2018)

SCRIPT: Anja Kofmel   PRODUCER: Samir , Siniša Juričić, Heino Deckert, Iikka Vehkalahti   EDITOR: Stefan Kälin   MUSIC: Marcel Vaid  

PRODUCTION: Dschoint Ventschr Filmproduktion AG, Nukleus Film, Film, IV Films   WORLD SALES: Frédéric Corvez, UDI – Urban Distribution International   GERMAN DISTRIBUTOR: Juliane Teut, Real Fiction Film