The Foster Boy (Der Verdingbub)
Saturday, September 29, 4:00 pm
Led by Max Hubacher, Switzerland’s 2012 Shooting Star award winner, this uncompromising portrait of the appalling practice of taking poor children from their parents and sending them as “contract children” to live with new families who often abused them, was common in Switzerland until the 1950s. One of these “contract children” is the orphan Max, who dreams of being part of a real family, but instead is treated by the poor Bösiger family as little more than an animal. His only refuge is his accordion, which he plays remarkably. The arrival of Berteli, another foster child, triggers a new dynamic of humiliation and suffering between Max and the Bösiger’s son, Jakob. Abused by Jakob, Berteli seeks comfort with Max, who tells her about a fantastic land of meat and accordions described by their kind-hearted teacher: Argentina! But despite the teacher’s efforts to protect the “foster children,” tragedy strikes at the Bösiger farm — and Max flees to the land of his dreams.
Switzerland, Germany (2011), 108 min. (digital projection); in Swiss German with English subtitles
Director: Markus Imboden
Screenwriters: Plinio Bachmann, Jasmine Hoch
Cast: Max Hubacher, Katja Riemann, Stefan Kurt, Maximilian Simonischek
World Sales: Global Screen
Director Markus Imboden was born in 1955 in Interlaken, Switzerland. He studied literature and history at the University of Zurich. He has been an independent film director and screenwriter since 1986, and lectures at the ZHdK (Zurich University of the Arts). His film Katzendiebe (1996) is one of the most successful Swiss films of all times. He is a member of both the German Film Academy and the Swiss Film Academy. With over 235,000 tickets sold, The Foster Boy, has become the most successful Swiss film production in the last five years.
Swiss Window is proudly supported by the Consulates General of Switzerland in San Francisco and Los Angeles
Additional support provided by United Swiss Societies of Northern California Cultural Committee