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Unrest Unrueh

Cyril Schäublin / Switzerland / 2022 / 93 min / Russian, German, French

Ten years before the adoption of Greenwich Mean Time, the clocks keep different times: the factory, local, telegraph and railway time. An eccentric, witty historical drama about anarchy and horology in 19th-century Switzerland.

New technologies are transforming a 19th-century watchmaking town in Switzerland. Josephine, a young factory worker, produces the unrest wheel, swinging in the heart of the mechanical watch. Exposed to new ways of organizing money, time and labour, she gets involved with the local movement of anarchist watchmakers, where she meets Russian traveller Pyotr Kropotkin. The idiosyncratic director’s second feature blends an overall reflection on politics and society with irony and detailed observation of work and life in a small community.

“It’s impossible to make a historical film which does not in some way also reflect the present. The time the film takes place in can be seen as crucial for today. It’s the beginning of the national states and the early architecture of industrial capitalism, defining how we understand and organise work, time and money until today. The film is an attempt to show the consequences of how that day’s activists took action to foster genuine change.” (Cyril Schäublin)

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