Switzerland - Belgium and/or Germany
Producer – Simon Hesse
Scriptwriter – Jan Poldervaart
Based on the novel «Blösch» by Beat Sterchi
Diogenes Verlag Zürich
Principal shooting: Fall 2020
In the 1960s, Ambrosio migrates from Spain to work in Switzerland, as thousands of his compatriots do at that time. But from the start, the farmers of Hinterwalden keep a wary eye on the new farmhand. But due to his open manner, his good humour and his diligence, Ambrosio soon nestles into this small community. To the delight of his employer the farmer Knuchel, who despises modern milking machines and artificial insemination, the Spaniard is an expert in the craft of milking. Soon, he develops a close relationship with the animals on the farm, especially with the lead cow Blösch.
With its green pastures, its splendid animals, and the women’s smooth and voluptuous bodies, Switzerland seems like paradise to Ambrosio. In a thoughtless moment, he indecently approaches the farmer’s wife. So Knuchel, though with a heavy heart, has no choice but to dismiss his farmhand.
The butcher Gilgen provides Ambrosio with a job at an enormous slaughterhouse. The Spaniard ends up in a place, where man is at war with creature as well as with man himself. Of course, the cattle stand no chance, while the daily butchering brutalizes and destroys the men and their souls. And then one day, Ambrosio spots his beloved Blösch, maltreated and emaciated, on the ramp of the slaughterhouse. At that moment, the mood changes: Ambrosio and Gilgen invoke a butchers’ revolution …
POTENTIAL & EVALUATION
BLÖSCH tells a timeless story on topics like the industrialized agricultural production, but also of the eternal yearning for a home and for a carefree life in harmony with nature. Ambrosio embodies the economic migration of the 1960s, which has brought enormous wealth to the respective countries, but rarely to the workers themselves.
In times of the increasing walling-off of Europe, xenophobia, the kind of which Ambrosio has to face, is an ageless topic. At the same time, the viewer is reflected in our protagonist, who confronts a society in constant change first with joyful confidence and at last with an act of violent revolt.
The film, with its close look at a historical chapter of the economic recovery in Europe, will surely find interest outside of Switzerland. Furthermore, the topic of the fully industrialized meat production – a virtual war of man against creature - is as up-to-date as universally understandable in any first world country. We expect the world premiere of BLÖSCH to be at an A-Festival.
WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR
Hesse Film is looking for co-production and distribution partners in Spain, Germany, Austria, Belgium or Luxembourg. The production is budgeted at about 4.5 million Euro. The Swiss financing share will amount to around 3 million Euros. The project-development is supported by MEDIA and the Zurich Film Foundation. The financing phase in Switzerland will end Fall 2019, financing abroad should be ensured at best until Spring 2020. The shooting is planned for the fall of 2020.