Thursday Cinema
Chris the Swiss

Salt Beyoğlu

October 3, 2019 19.00

Christheswiss 2018 <i>Chris the Swiss</i> [İsviçreli Chris] (2018) filminden bir kare ©Urban Distribution International
Still from Chris the Swiss (2018) ©Urban Distribution International
Walk-in Cinema

Chris the Swiss (2018)
Director: Anja Kofmel
90 minutes
German, English, Spanish; Turkish and English subtitles

Why are young men so fascinated by war? Today just as back in the nineties when war was raging in ex-Yugoslavia?

Swiss war reporter “Chris” Christian Würtenberg was found dead on January 7, 1992, 30 km away from Vukovar, a Croatian town under the Serbian occupation. In the uniform of a mercenary force, he had, in fact, become a member of the First Platoon of International Volunteers only recently. Although the commander of this force, Eduardo Rózsa-Flores claimed that “Chris the Swiss” was killed by Serbian snipers, the autopsy results showed that the 27-year-old man died from strangulation with his own scarf. Paul Jenks, an English photojournalist who immediately headed to Osijek to investigate his friend’s death, was also killed in a shooting which took place on January 17.

Würtenberg’s cousin Anja Kofmel, who was 10 years old back then, decided to make a film on this tragedy two decades later. The resulting black-and-white animation Chris the Swiss (2018) forms both a poetic and documentary narrative developing from a naïve perspective of a child to a critical examination of an adult with so many questions on her role model. Supported with Würtenberg’s newspaper articles and diaries as well as news footages and interviews with witnesses, the film traces the young reporter’s footsteps to find more about the background of his career, his reasons to go to war, and his last days among the shadowy milieu of mercenaries.

Thursday Cinema is supported by Garanti BBVA Mortgage. Program is free. Reservations are not accepted.

In accordance with Article 7 of Law No. 5224 amended on 18.01.2019,
films that have not been assessed and classified by the General Directorate of Cinema, Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Republic of Turkey, can only be screened under the classification of 18+ at festivals, special screenings or similar culture and arts events.