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Swiss star director unveils his latest film

Lead actors on the set of "Gripsholm": (from left) Karlchen (Markus Thomas), Billie (Jasmin Tabatabai), Kurt (Ulrich Noethen) and Lydia (Heike Makatsch)

(Keystone)

One of Switzerland's best-known directors, Xavier Koller, has been talking about his latest film "Gripsholm". Koller shot to fame in 1991, when he won an Oscar for his film "Reise der Hoffnung" ("Journey of Hope").

Koller's career has been in the doldrums since his Disney production, "Squanto" (1994), flopped at the box office.

He now hopes to make a comeback with "Gripsholm", a biography of the German poet, Kurt Tucholsky. Koller said he chose to make a film about the Berlin-born writer because: "Tucholsky was an incredibly multi-faceted character, full of life and yet deeply depressed. He was a fervent literary opponent of the Nazis".

Critics have described the film as a hybrid of comedy and tragedy. Koller responded by saying it was his "full intention to produce a sad comedy and a light-hearted tragedy at the same time, in line with Tucholsky's own thinking".

There is also a touch of romance in the film, offering an insight into the loving relationship between Tucholsky and his partner, Lydia.

The title of the film is taken from an anecdotal tale, "Schloss Gripsholm", written by Tucholsky, when he was in Sweden in the early 1930s.

"Gripsholm" is due to be released on October 19 in Switzerland.

swissinfo with agencies

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