Like an Island

Tizian Büchi
Switzerland | 2022 | 106 min
World premiere
Languages : French, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese
Subtitles : French, English

Grand Jury Prize offered by la Mobilière
Istituto Svizzero Prize

For mysterious reasons, two watchmen are made to guard access to the river in an area of Lausanne where retirees and immigrant families live. Through the different people they encounter, a territory takes shape and a friendship is born. Tizian Büchi creates a fable—part documentary, part fiction and tinged with magical realism—to subtly question our surveillance society.

In this oasis, akin to something imagined by Bachelard, the voices of running water and fauna whisper, like a vital and Edenic phantasmagoria contemplated by two “forest beings”. The film then slides towards a kind of investigation that alludes to a legend: there is gold in the Vuachère, the river running right by Faverges, a suburban neighbourhood in Lausanne where functional buildings housing retirees and immigrant families have shot up. For an unknown reason, this peaceful river must be “secured” over the summer by two watchmen: the somewhat fatherly Daniel, a hearty and good-natured Congolese man, and his colleague Ammar, who is guarded and just starting in the profession. During their absurd rounds, with comic overtones – echoing other improbable duos in fictional films – a friendship is born, while a multicoloured territory materialises, surrounded by this mysterious Îlot (small island) of greenery, a “hole” on the fringe of civilisation. Tizian Büchi creates a brilliant documentary fable tinged with magical realism to subtly question the society of surveillance.

Emmanuel Chicon

L'Îlot, 2022
La saison du silence, 2016
On avait dit qu'on irait jusqu'en haut, 2015


Diana VidrascuCamille Sultan
Bruno Schweissgut
Thomas Marchand
Thomas ReichlinAlva Film ProductionBritta RindelaubAlva Film Production
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International Feature Film Competition

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