Luka Popadić: My Swiss Army

This text is written by Magnificent7 Festival directors Svetlana and Zoran Popovic:

This film was created from a unique and unexpected angle, from the experience of the author who is simultaneously a Serbian director and an officer of the Swiss army. It was created to reveal to many that in the land of chocolate, banks and cheese, 150,000 Swiss people have rifles and military equipment in their closets at home.

The surprising, witty, sometimes ironic, touching spirit of this film reveals Switzerland that we do not know through the complexity of situations and reflections of the second generation of immigrants over their own identity in all its changes and differences. The heroes of the film, officers of the Swiss army, whose parents came from Tunisia, Sri Lanka and Serbia, discover how unique amalgams of culture and tradition from the countries of origin are formed in combination with the values of Swiss society and identity. The author, who was a proud rapper before becoming a soldier, creates a dynamic, playful documentary form and in different ways, both as a narrator telling his personal story and following the brilliantly chosen heroes, tries to discover what it really means to be Swiss. Through a series of often amusing situations, we gradually begin to understand how a banker or an engineer the next moment becomes an officer and thinks about commanding clercks, professors, farmers also instantly turned into soldiers. While in the alpine landscape, cows watch the passing of the army, we discover that the film discreetly questions the meaning of the army in modern Switzerland and offers unexpected answers.

A great documentary that constantly surprises us with unprecedented scenes and connections and abundantly revealing story about modern Europe.

Switzerland, Serbia 2023, 77 minutes

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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