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Switzerland, 2012, 97 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Coming of Age, Drama, Family Issues, French/French Canadian, Sports
Programs: Contemporary World Cinema, Women + FilmLanguage: French English Subtitles
DIRECTOR: Ursula Meier
Producer: Denis Freyd, Ruth WaldburgerEditor: Nelly QuettierScreenwriter: Antoine Jaccoud, Ursula MeierCinematographer: Agnès GodardPrincipal Cast: Léa Seydoux, Kacey Mottet Klein, Gillian Anderson
Director Ursula Meier (Home) fashioned Sister from her own experience, growing up in the shadow of the Jura Mountains in Switzerland, where skiing was a normal part of daily living for the middle and upper classes. Here, the story pits Simon, a 12-year-old from the industrial valley below, against the wealthy culture of the ski resort at the top of the mountain.
Simon lives with his feckless sister, a volatile young woman in her 20s who can’t hold a job or a boyfriend for very long. Her brother, whom she obviously loves, has taken on the role of keeping them in pasta and toilet paper (and paying the rent) by robbing from rich tourists and fencing the goods. He’s masked like the thief he is, but in a high-quality ski mask and helmet—the perfect disguise for his surroundings. Like other boys his age, Simon has a sled, but he uses his for work, carting his booty home from the sunlit, snowy heights. And like the sous chef with whom he partners in crime, he’s a seasonal worker who doesn’t profit grandly from his endeavors but gets by. He justifies fleecing the people he robs of food, parkas, and ski equipment, telling his sister, “They’ll just buy a new one.”
But making a living isn’t Simon’s only problem. He and his sister share a secret that they eventually must deal with. When that happens, things change—and Simon’s carefully constructed MO must change, too.
- VAL MOSES
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