Ian Purnell
Germany, Switzerland | 2018 | 29 min
World premiere
Languages : German, Swiss German, English
Subtitles : English, French

Made at the time of the opening of the Gotthard Tunnel—the longest underground rail section, the self-proclaimed “safest tunnel in the world”—the film was shot in a segment designed for evacuation exercises, and for tourist visits. A chance for safety experts, a therapist who uses hypnosis to overcome tunnel phobia, an actor who suffers from this phobia herself, or even an entrepreneur convinced of the future of underground transport to meet. From one shot to another, we move from a cave decor to the smooth perfection of a 3D reconstruction and, like the bowels of the earth explored by the film, the narration takes varied, complex and, at times, baffling paths. It plays with a tone that is as ironic as it is hypnotic, and tangles the narrative levels so well that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between what is real and what is simulated. The simultaneity of this loss of bearings and the plastic perfection symbolising absolute control is what confers such value upon this extremely masterly film, in which rituals and phobia are revealed as the two facets of our relationship with space.

Céline Guénot


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International Medium Length & Short Film Competition

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