FILM “ANNA IN SWITZERLAND” — Der lange Weg aus dem Frauenhandel / The long way out of trafficking in women
JOURNEY INTO THE FUTURE
Anna was 19 when she was the victim of trafficking. During several months she was forced into prostitution. But the worst came after that: “To be a victim, and nobody believes that I can still have dreams”.
Humiliated and lonely, Anna fights for her dreams for 14 years. What does it mean to be stigmatized as a victim?
Anna in Switzerland tells in two journeys the past and the present of this courageous woman:
The journey that led Anna to Switzerland at the time, and which is always similar for many victims of trafficking in women. An inner journey into the speechless abyss of loneliness and powerlessness, depicted in impressive and appealing illustrations by the Swiss artist Hannes Binder (animations: Daniel Walser, Kowaku).
And the journey today through some of the most beautiful landscapes of Switzerland; Anna arrives here a second time and tells of the long way back to normality.
Stigmatisation as a victim penetrates every rift in life, but after a tough struggle Anna regains her human dignity. At the end she stands on the summit of a 4000m peak and looks to a future that belongs to her alone.
A LONG WAY
Anna was born in Jicín in what is now the Czech Republic. Their courage at that time was only sixteen, their father seventeen. Both came from large Slovak families with alcohol and violence problems. The young father was overwhelmed with his role; violence and alcohol continued in the new family.
Nevertheless, the parents worked hard for a better future for their daughter, the father as a bricklayer, the mother in service. So Anna could go to a private school and even take dance lessons. After graduating from high school, she dreamt of becoming a social worker but, under pressure from her parents, began training as a nurse.
Then a man appears who poses as a businessman from Switzerland. Anna speaks some English and interprets for him in Czech. He tells of Switzerland that she could do an education there, that everything was safer there, that he would help her… Anna falls in love and goes with him. Shortly before the border he takes her passport — the same night Anna is sold for the first time.
Today, fourteen years later, Anna works in a home for autistic people and studies social work at a university of applied sciences. Finally she can make her dream come true.
RESPECT INSTEAD OF PITY
Anna in Switzerland shows a hidden world that nobody talks about in public.
What happens to a woman who has been the victim of sexual violence? How’s she gonna handle it? What is she suffering most from?
Anna speaks publicly about these experiences and shares the stirring and sometimes contradictory feelings. For the audience this is a unique opportunity — for Anna a decision that requires a lot of courage.
Anna has two strong motives for making this film: with her story she wants to draw attention to the topic and warn potential future victims. But above all, Anna fights for a different view of victims of sexual violence. For these women are particularly stigmatized and confronted with prejudices, even in a benevolent sense. Anna no longer wants to be perceived as a victim and be determined by others.
Anna doesn’t want pity, she wants respect.
SwissDok produces sophisticated documentaries for cinema and television in terms of content and form. The contradictions and originality of the people, the diversity and the confusion of the world are our starting point. We produce films with individual handwriting and tell stories with a subjective view.
Our films should surprise and inspire a curious audience. We are interested in the existential questions of people and the riddles of life. With our films we set out in search of answers, for our audience and ourselves.
The founders of SwissDok GmbH are Chantal Millès and Daniel Howald. Before working as a director and producer, Chantal Millès graduated in German literature, trained as a cultural manager (MAS) and directed a film festival for several years. After completing his studies in philosophy, literature and ethnology, Daniel Howald trained as a filmmaker. He has been a successful writer and director in Switzerland for years.