Switzerland, 99 min
The soldier Ernst S. was the first of seventeen “traitors” to be shot in Switzerland in the second world war; he was accused of collaborating, stealing guns and then selling them to Germany. Very controversial when released (partly because it was financially supported by the Swiss Confederation), this film, made after a book by journalist Niklaus Meienberg, with the help of testimonies weaves a detailed biography of its central subject. The man’s life story, punctuated by disappointments, is thus intertwined with a rewriting of history, which at the same time allows us to question the hypocrisy of a society that believes it can escape its guilty conscience thanks to scapegoats and the shadow of class justice. Dindo and his accomplice – who would not win any awards for the quality of the film despite its acknowledged aesthetic attributes – denounce a collaboration on a much wider and more dramatic scale than that of Ernst S. Two implicit portraits, without compromise: one of an absent man, and one of a country.