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From 5 July 2023

Unrest Unrueh

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

It is the 19th century. A watchmaking town in Switzerland is being transformed under the influx of new technologies. Josephine, a young factory worker, manufactures “unrest” wheels (balance wheels), which serve as the oscillating heart of a mechanical watch. Faced with new ways of organising money, time and labour, she gets involved with the local anarchist watchmaker movement, where she ends up meeting the Russian traveller and cartographer Pyotr Kropotkin.

cast Clara Gostynski, Alexei Evstratov

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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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