In this enigmatic and unnerving stunner about the limits of spirituality and organized religion, a neurologist and evangelical Christian finds her convictions threatened when an ex-lover and convicted felon comes back into her life.
The Innocent, directed by Simon Jaquemet, is a dark and fantastical tale which centers on one woman's awakening from a life of strictly prescribed religious and patriarchal dogma into the confidence, chaos, and magic unleashed by her own desires. Ruth (portrayed masterfully by Judith Hoffmann) is a scientist who successfully performs head transplants among monkeys. She and her happy, conventional, middle-class Swiss family are members of a highly conservative evangelical Christian sect. When Ruth's ex-lover, who she thought was dead, shows up on her doorstep, she is overcome by passion and emotion that blast the boundaries of her current existence. When her tryst becomes known, Ruth's church convinces her that her ex-lover is Satan. Through imprisoning her in the church's holding cell and forcing her to attend an underground swingers' party (at which she finds a vast, endless sea of darkness), her husband and her church convince Ruth that she is possessed by the Devil. Jaquemet's approach to this film is very straightforward; the filmmaking technique is subdued in ways that allows the acting and narrative to lead. Blurring the lines between genre film and slow-burn thriller, The Innocent takes us on a journey which begins with Ruth—in a closed, conventional setting—and slowly expands to an unexpected place where anything can happen.
Born in 1978, Simon Jaquemet grew up in Basel, Switzerland. He worked on several award-winning music videos and commercials before his debut feature, Chrieg, in 2015.
Sponsored by Goethe Pop Up Seattle, Honorary Consulate of Switzerland in Seattle
- Original Language Title: Der Unschuldige
- Director: Simon Jaquemet
- Principal Cast: Judith Hoffmann, Christian Kaiser, Thomas Schupbach, Urs-Peter Wolters, Naomi Scheiber
- Country: Switzerland, Germany
- Year: 2018
- Running Time: 114 minutes
- Producer: Tolga Dilsiz, Aurelius Eisenreich
- Screenplay: Simon Jaquemet
- Cinematographers: Gabriel Sandru
- Editors: Christof Schertenleib
- Filmography: War (2014)
- Language: Swiss, German
- Has Subtitles: Yes
- Format: DCP
- US Distributor: Greenwich Entertainment
- International Sales: Kinology