Take a look at the below list of Top 10 Most Popular Swiss Movies of All Time till 2017. There is something special about watching a European movie – more so one that is from Switzerland. Whether you’re five years old or getting closer to turning forty, everyone can take away something from watching a Swiss movie. But with the American movie industry forever expanding, Swiss movies have become far less accessible for many to come across, and the idea of a Swiss movie ever becoming popular seems all the more impossible. But what if we were to tell you that some of the most popular movies have been made in Switzerland? As hard as that may be to believe, below are ten of the most popular films to come out of the beautiful country that is Switzerland.
List of Top 10 Most Popular Swiss Movies of All Time till 2017
10. Journey of Hope
Released : August 1990
Winner of the Academy award for best foreign film in 1990, Journey Of Hope was greatly inspiring to Swiss film makers of the millennial generation, and showed to them the popularity that can be achieved regardless of where they are from. Journey Of Hope, tells the story of a Turkish couple wanting to migrate to Switzerland in the hopes of having a better life. The film was completely shot in Switzerland, and was the second film from the country to be nominated for an Oscar, as well as win. To this date, the film has been translated to Turkish and Italian, and continues to hold prominence as one of the best films to come from Switzerland.
Released : October 2006
The film tells the story of Vitus, a young boy whose parents have expectations of him and want him to become a pianist. But through the influence of his granddad, Vitus goes on his own personal journey to finding his own way and forging his own dreams and ambitions. Critics favoured the film favourably earning a 63 Meta Critic score, as well as winning Film Of The Year at the 2006 Swiss Movie Awards. Not only that, but Vitus paved the way for actor Teo Gheorghiu, who as of this date has enjoyed a highly successful pianist career. The whole film was released in Swiss, but can be viewed along side English subtitles.
8. Ready Steady Charlie!
Released : May 2004
Widely known for its satirical angle on the Swiss army, Ready Steady Charlie! tells the story of an Italian immigrant being drafted into attending Military School. Although the film was not as commercially successful in Hollywood, the film still managed to gain international notoriety, gaining three nominations for the Special Jury Prize, Swiss Film Award and the Undine Award. Directed by Mike Eschmann, Ready Steady Charlie paved the way for many upcoming actors including the leading protagonist Michael Koch and Melanie Winger.
7. The Circle
Released : February 2014
This is certainly one of the most interesting of films to come out of Switzerland, so it’s no surprise that it is one of the most popular. Not to be confused with the recent 2016 Science Fiction Movie of the same name, the historical drama, The Circle tells the story of a teacher who becomes romantically involved with a female impersonator. The film also included interviews with the real people which the film rein acts. The movie is also worth the watch if you’re a fan of Marianne Sägebrecht and Anatole Taubman, who play a huge part in the movie.
6. The Boat Is Full
Released : October 1981
Set ad mist World War 2, The Boat Is Full tells the story of four Jews who take refuge with a French couple. Posing as a family, the movie documents their struggle to keep their identities safe from the Nazis and the plight of being a Jew in World War Two as a whole. Critics praised the film for approaching themes of the war otherwise shunned by other Swiss film makers, as well as it’s depiction of the holocaust which was seen as extremely realistic. The Boat Is Full was that popular internationally, it was nominated for Best International Language Film at the 1982 Oscars. This is one of the Top 10 Most Popular Swiss Movies of All Time till 2017.
5. Welcome to Switzerland
Released : June 2014
With a 5.4 million budget and an a list cast, Welcome To Switzerland was destined to become a popular movie to come out of Switzerland. Welcome To Switzerland, tells the story of a man who returns to Switzerland for a funeral and from that goes on an array of wild and comedic adventures. The film was praised for it’s quirky and sassy nature, and can be available to watch in French and Switzerland. This is the only popular Swiss film on this list to have also had scenes filmed in France, and was geared towards French audiences compared to Swiss audiences.
4. Les Petites Fugues
Released : January 1979
Gross: Not released/disclosed to the public
Directed by Swiss film maker Yves Yersin, Les Petites Fuges was one of the first comedy movies from Switzerland that paved the way for the Swiss film industry. Les Petites Fuges follows an old farm worker called Pipe, who is ready to retire, and goes on an adventure travelling around his village. The movie was successful in representing the struggles of living with alcoholism, and also acts as a social commentary on society and the need to work as a whole. The movie went onto premiere at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival and also went onto become one of the first Swiss films to be nominated for an academy award for being the best foreign film of the year.
3. Broken Silence
Released : October 1995
Directed by one of the most popular directors to come out of Switzerland, Wolfgang Panzer, Broken Silence was one of the few Swiss movies to be first released in Germany. Broken Silence follows Fred Adelphi, a dedicated monk who goes on a journey of reawakening when he is sent to Indonesia in order to find the owner of the monastery and get an extension on their lease. The movie shows the extent of how religion can warp ones reality, as well as give audiences an insight into deceit and human nature itself. The movie went onto to six awards including Best Film at the Shanghai Film Festival, with Michael Moriarty going away with Chicago International Film Festival’s award for best supporting actor.
2. Alpine Fire
Released : January 1985
Alpine Fire is a drama that documents the life of a family who lives on a farm and shows how past traditions can often become unhealthy and toxic in modern society. Although this is one of the most popular films to come out of Switzerland, not a lot is known about how the film came to be, and the production itself. The movie was shrouded in controversy when in 1986, Alpine Fire was entered for an Academy Award, but did not make it to become a nominee in the best foreign film category. However, it isn’t all doom and gloom, since Alpine Fire did manage to win a ‘Golden Leopard Award’ at Locarno International Film Festival in 1985.
1. The Swissmakers
Released : October 1979
Finally, the most popular Swiss film of all time, raking in over 940,000 admissions to the cinemas in Switzerland and beyond, The Swissmakers is one of the most iconic Swiss movies out there. The comedy tells the tale of two foreigners who attempt to gain Swiss citizenship, but the process spirals out of control and into a crazy yet humorous facade. The movie was praised for its commentary on cultural barriers, as well as being the first Swiss film of its kind to gain international recognition. It is also one of the few movies to be translated into not just English, but also Italian and German.
These are the Top 10 Most Popular Swiss Movies of All Time till 2017. Whether you’ve heard of these Swiss movies or not, Switzerland’s film makers have made a huge contribution to the movie industry, offering so much more variety than the usual movies you get from Holly Wood. With the creative sphere of Europe ever expanding, who knows what’s next for Switzerland?