The movie

Farewell Paradise

What happens when you and your three sisters are born in paradise and then find yourself, along with your mom and siblings but without your father, transported to the cold, narrow-minded, and highly regulated country of Switzerland?

Length: 93 min
Country: Netherlands
Language spoken: Swiss German
Language subtitles: Dutch
Cast:
Director: Sonja Wyss
Release date: 2019

Description

What happens when you and your three sisters are born in paradise—the freewheeling Bahamas of the 1960s—and then find yourself, along with your mom and siblings but without your father, transported to the cold, narrow-minded, and highly regulated country of Switzerland? This is the question filmmaker Sonja Wyss sets out to answer as she recollects the circumstances of her family’s separation and the subsequent struggles of a single mom with four daughters to raise in a judgmental and unforgiving environment. Using archival photos and film footage, and remarkably candid interviews with all members of her family—including her distant father—she paints a memorable and clear-eyed family portrait.

‘Whilst the film is intended to be therapeutic and its happy ending implicit, this work is nonetheless significant for the courageous approach taken by the director towards such personal material; an approach which sidesteps displays of sentimentality and embarrassing showdowns so as to foreground pain in all its dignity.’—Roberto Oggiano, Cineuropa

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