Fiction Film: Dark Fortune, including discussion with Director
(Eng subtitles only, no Thai subtitles)

7pm, 24 April, 2017
150 entry for non-members, free for members
We are deviating from our documentaries for this screening because the director is in town and will be joining us for the screening!

Late at night, psychologist Eliane Hess is called to the hospital bed of 8-year-old Yves. The boy is the only family member to have survived a car crash. Eliane is both horrified and fascinated by the boy's fate. An invisible bond develops between them, blurring the boundaries between private and working life.

Based on the novel "Finsteres Glück" by Lukas Hartmann, DARK FORTUNE tells us a tender, highly unusual story about belonging and love, exploring the question of guilt and innocence and illustrating the fearless courage to face one's destiny.

Director's note

On August 11, 1999, I boarded an early morning train from Zurich to Strasburg to witness the solar eclipse that would take place on that day in the Alsace and southern Germany. There, at the Quai de la Petite France, I waited for the great moment among hundreds and maybe even thousands of other people. We were lucky. The sun was shining at noon. The growing darkness, the silence of the birds and the people, the pallid light, the sudden coolness: it was a magical, uncanny moment and instinctively, I understood why solar eclipses were, and often still are, interpreted as fateful omens of disaster sent by the gods.

Eleven years later, I received a small package from Lukas Hartmann. The well-known Swiss author had sent me his latest novel Finsteres Glück (Dark Fortune): his narrative opens on that very same day. I started reading the book and was instantly spellbound.

The boy Yves: with a dark secret, growing up in a family that does not give him warmth and comfort; the relationship of his parents overshadowed by massive mutual accusations, financial pressure, and domestic violence. As the only member of his family to survive a car crash, Yves is left entirely to himself and utterly defenseless.

The psychologist, Eliane: a single mother, autonomous, who takes a cool, rational approach to the pain of leaving childhood times behind. The great love of her life a failure; but she has come to terms. In her professional life, feelings and longings are classified and domesticated.

These two people encounter one another - on the day of the solar eclipse. The result of that encounter is a tender, unusual «love story». The boy instinctively senses that the trauma therapist can give him the support he desperately needs. At the same time, he unwittingly confronts her with her own repressed grief. She has been given the mandate to cure Yves; the boy, in turn, becomes a catalyst for her and her family. Eliane's daughters cannot escape the maelstrom; they too are drawn in, forced to face their own emotional injuries.

The family, a universal theme that affects and touches all of us; the thin, increasingly blurred line between professional and personal life; the struggle for love, belonging, and warmth; questions of guilt and innocence - ultimately, only one thing counts and that is the strength to confront unsparingly our own experiences and the abysses of our own fate. I was moved and doubly pleased by the fact that Matthias Grünewald's Isenheim Altar in Colmar plays an important role in the novel. I have known and loved these late medieval paintings since my own childhood.

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