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Family Reunion – Marthaler’s Drama in a Grand Hotel

As carpets are rolled and furniture covered, a grand hotel in the Swiss alps ushers in the off season. Melancholy song floods the empty halls as director Christoph Marthaler and his theatrical family rob the hotel of its sleep with endless choir practices – for six long weeks, right up until opening night. But one person is missing from the rehearsals: Jürg Kienberger, scion of the hotel family and veteran musician-member of Marthaler’s ensemble, is recovering from an operation on his knees, killing time with a one-man show at the rehab clinic. Aloof from the goings-on, Kienberger reflects with subtle irony on the evolution of a Marthaler production, airing the secret of the cult phenomenon without giving it away. Meanwhile, the troupe are raising ghosts from 100 years of the hotel’s history. Both jovial and saturnine, the quirky loners are united when they sing. The film escorts its viewers to a feast of music and poetry, and invites them to join a theatrical family.

Author and Director: Sarah Derendinger
Coauthor: Christoph Kohler
DOP: Matthias Kälin, Sarah Derendinger
Sound: Balthasar Jucker
Editor: Ruth Schläpfer
Sounddesign and Soundmix: Knut Jensen
Production: Stella Händler, Claudia Frei
Coproduction: Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen, ZDF Theaterkanal


Award of the George Foundation, best Newcomer-Film (Cinéma suisse) 
Nominated for the Basler Filmpreis «ZOOM»
Visions du Réel Nyon, Best Newcomer-Film (cinéma suisse)


Visions du réel, Nyon (World premiere)
Theatertreffen Berlin, 2009
Festival DER FILM 4, Prague
Solothurner Filmtage
CH-DOK-FILM Veranstaltungsreihe der Kulturkommission Lenzburg
Goethe-Institut, Tokyo
F/T10 – Performing Arts Festival, Tokyo
Fanatika Theatre Documentary Festival Ahmedabad India