Samir Samir
Switzerland | 1993 | 97 min
Languages : Swiss German, French
Subtitle : English

Their parents were immigrants to Switzerland and they themselves are ‘Secondos’ – second-generation immigrants. Their life stories are told on multiple narrative levels, reflecting on a cultural identity in an intermediate world. This flickering group portrait in the video clip style of the early 1990s is a milestone in Swiss documentary filmmaking.
Switzerland in the early 1990s is introduced didactically and with a gentle irony as a single elongated metropolitan area populated by young adults – known as ‘Secondos’ – whose parents are immigrants.

Samir, who arrived here himself from Baghdad as a child in the early 1960s, takes up the search for the new generation and finds communicative, self-assured individuals who – in ‘half and half’ mode – are at home in their own intermediate worlds. Many of them have found a chosen home in the hip-hop scene, in ice hockey, in the media and at the university…

The approach to making this flickering group portrait is just as varied as the life stories themselves: different narrative levels – interviews, archival footage, dream sequences – are brought onto the same plane using split screens, allowing the multi-layered nature of identity to find expression, too. Using an alter ego, Samir deconstructs the “foreign rule” to which foreigners are particularly – and ultimately completely – subject. Babylon 2 offers the viewer a provisional home in this intermediate world and celebrates roots and wings.

Jenny Billeter (Translation BMP Translations)

Samir SamirKarin Koch

Atelier Samir

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