A Forgotten Man
Director: Laurent Nègre
Starring: Michael Neuenschwander, Manuela Biedermann and Yann Philipona.
Sat 11 Nov 7.30pm Book Now
Sun 12 Nov 7.30pm Book Now
Duration: 85 mins
AGE Rating: Cert 15
Under 16s £5
In German with English subtitles.
At the end of World War Two, a Swiss diplomat (Michael Neueschwander) is burdened with guilt about a young man who he did nothing to help, in this chillingly intense historical drama, based on controversial Swiss diplomat Hans Frolicher. The film is being released to coincide with this year’s Remembrance Day (11th November).
In the spring of 1945 as Nazi Germany collapses, Swiss ambassador Heinrich Zwygart flees bombed-out Berlin after serving eight years in the capital of the Reich. This is the end of a dreadful mandate, during which he had to make fatal compromises to preserve the neutrality and security of his country. For Switzerland to end up on the winning side after the war, someone will have to pay. Haunted by his past, struggling to secure a future, but driven by his ambition Zwygart feels the trap closing in on him. He made it through the war, but will he survive peace?
Beautifully shot in black and white, A FORGOTTEN MAN features a tremendous central performance from Neuenschwander (nominated for the Swiss Film Prize for his role) as Heinrich Zwygart, an ambitious, respected family man, whose world starts to crumble in front of the audience’s eyes. The film unfolds like a mystery – who is the young man who is haunting Zwygart? What does his daughter’s new boyfriend want from him? Will he resign his position as he has been asked to do, or has he something else planned? And can one ever be truly ‘neutral’? It makes for a gripping and nerve-wracking experience, made all the more prescient when watched in the light of current tumultuous world events.
About his timely and important film, Nègre says: “It seems to me essential to look history in the face, to offer the viewer a fascinating confrontation with the national past, and to put back at the centre of our concerns questions as beautiful and important as Truth, Justice and individual Courage”.