Alain Tanner

Switzerland 1964. 73 Min.
bw. DCP. F/e

World premiere of the restored and digitized version

One of the peculiarities of young Swiss cinema was the interest in critical stocktaking: who are the people living in Switzerland, why are they here, what defines them? Keep this in mind when you see Les apprentis, and maybe remember that at the same time Alexander J. Seiler, June Kovach and Rob Gnant looked at a different group of workers in the country in Siamo italiani (1964). The film makes both cross sections and longitudinal cuts; its aim is to rediscover Switzerland – or to make visible a young Switzerland, which was only shown in a distorted way in old films, if at all. Tanner’s first feature film, made for the Expo 64, is a collection of portraits of young trainees and apprentices (watch makers, precision mechanics, civil engineering draftsmen ...), which takes a look at how they live, listens to them as they speak about workplace conditions – and reveals what is typical about them at that time, in that place. The rest – which actually enjoys much attention – is themselves, portrayed with the pathos of the ephemeral, the adornment and dignity of direct cinema. Les apprentis is now available in a digitally restored version, which honours the grainy poetry of the original. (om)


DirectorAlain Tanner
ScreenplayAlain Tanner
CinematographyErnest Artaria
EditingErnest Artaria, Alain Tanner
MusicVictor Fenigstein
ProducersTeleproduction, Zürich, Reni Mertens, Walter Marti