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Switzerland, 2008

Original music : Pierre-Alain Bertholet Production : PCT Cinéma-Télévision SA

Programmed by Mathilde Henrot


French, English

Locarno Film Festival


Subsequent to indictments and arrests, the examining magistrate deals with the individual cases. While listening to the accused in closed sessions and deciding their fate, he is directly confronted with brutal social reality. The accused have much to tell about themselves: dramas, accidents, violence, conflicts, misunderstandings, thoroughly calculated schemes and brutal, ill-considered behaviour makes a world come alive in the examiner’s office, appearing at once absurd, ludicrous and tragic. A human comedy is being played out right before our eyes.

Tënk's opinion

Pierre-François Sauter’s “Face au Juge” opens with a Western soundtrack in a deserted, windswept town. A character straight out of Sergio Leone’s “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” enters the frame with his black hat and long black coat. We see him only from behind. He removes his coat and hat and emerges in suit and tie, transformed into Your Honour the Magistrate – not the bad guy but the judge. In this documentary that gets as close as possible to the people filmed with a realism reminiscent of the Belgian series Strip-Tease, the personal destinies of these Swiss citizens are laid bare before the judge.  There’s the issue of money, the lack of it or stashed away somewhere, but above all it’s the issue of the difficulties of living together. The impression we have is one of sadness, seeking justice and empathy – a complicated mess through which the judge must fight his way every day.

Mathilde Henrot, programmer Locarno Film Festival

Item 1 of 4
Item 1 of 4

Item 1 of 4