ELDORADO
2018, Films Boutique, 91 min, Switzerland/Germany, Dir: Markus Imhoof

When Swiss director Markus Imhoof was a small boy, his family took in an undernourished refugee as part of a limited-term program for children; the girl died of illness shortly after being forced to return to Italy. Imhoof takes this early experience of personal loss as a point of entry to the ongoing refugee crisis, the biggest mass displacement of people since WWII. This extraordinary documentary takes us on a journey through the Italian warships of Operation Mare Nostrum, refugee camps in Southern Italy and asylum hearings with Swiss authorities, all designed to turn back refugees at all levels. What emerges is a stark picture of an absurd and inhuman process that fails to address a human tragedy: a crisis caused by economic imbalances turning the rich countries of the North into the Eldorado that so many of the less fortunate try to reach at any cost.


MORE THAN HONEY
2012, Kino Lorber, 90 min, Switzerland/Germany/Austria, Dir: Markus Imhoof

Winner of multiple awards, including the 2013 German Film Award (Lola) for Best Documentary film, MORE THAN HONEY, directed by Oscar-nominated director Markus Imhoof (THE BOAT IS FULL), tackles the vexing issue of why bees are facing extinction. With the tenacity of a man out to solve a world-class mystery, he investigates this global phenomenon, from California to Switzerland, China and Australia. Exquisite photography of the bees in flight and in their hives reveals a fascinating, complex world in crisis. Writes Eric Kohn in Indiewire: "Imhoof captures the breeding of queen bees in minute detail, ventures to a laboratory to witness a bee brainscan, and discovers the dangerous prospects of a hive facing the infection of mites. In this latter case, the camera's magnifying power renders the infection in sci-fi terms, as if we've stumbled into a discarded scene from David Cronenberg's THE FLY." This is a strange and strangely moving film that raises questions of species survival in cosmic as well as apiary terms.


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