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Switzerland | 2015 | 75 minutes | Lionel Baier

"Euthanasia comedy" seems an odd descriptor, but the latest from Swiss director Lionel Baier (Longwave, SIFF 2014) is a blackly humorous Christmas tale about one man's absurd journey to die with dignity.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

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For his seventh feature film, Lionel Baier (Longwave) focuses his comedy on a topic that's a relative stranger to the genre: assisted euthanasia. Vanitatum, omnia vanitas—"vanities, all is vanity." Baier intended his film to be a vanitas, a piece of art expressing the emptiness of life, but the film itself, far from empty, takes us on a brilliantly absurd journey. David Miller wants to die. He organizes everything: the place, the time, and how he plans to do it. However, after initially contacting an association in Switzerland that offers an assisted-suicide service, nothing ends up going as planned. On his final journey toward his personally made death bed, he meets two strangers, Esperanza and Tréplev, and the three develop a peculiar friendship on the road. Baier once again creates a beautifully modulated and measured journey around matters of life and death, which will remain in the memory long after the final credits.

Director Biography
Swiss-born Lionel Baier is both a film director and producer, known for his works Garçon stupide (2004) and Longwave (2013). He is also the head of the film department at the Lausanne University of Art and Design in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Sponsored by W Seattle Hotel

  • Original Language Title: La Vanité
  • Director: Lionel Baier
  • Principal Cast: Patrick Lapp, Carmen Maura, Ivan Georgiev
  • Country: Switzerland, France
  • Year: 2015
  • Running Time: 75 minutes
  • Producer: Agnieszka Ramu, Frédéric Mermoud, Estelle Fialon
  • Screenplay: Lionel Baier, Julien Bouissoux
  • Cinematographers: Patrick Lindenmaier
  • Editors: Jean-Christophe Hym
  • Music: Dimitri Chostakovitch
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Swiss Film Awards 2016 (Best Supporting Actor)
  • Filmography: Longwave (2013); Bon vent Claude Goretta (doc, 2011); Toulouse (2010); Another Man (2008); Stealth (2006); Stupid Boy (2004)
  • Language: French
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • International Sales: Wide Management