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Caged Birds
Beyond Berlin: Swiss Cinema

Caged Birds

Bis wir tot sind oder frei

In this intriguing political drama, Barbara “Babs” Hug (Marie Leuenberger, The Divine Order) is a young radical lawyer fighting Switzerland’s antiquated prison system in the 1980s, and finds it to be an endless, draining battle.

She is tracked down by Walter Stürm (Joel Basman, The Monuments Men), who has just managed to escape from prison, again. He hands her a secret file that was not supposed to have left the prison and the two form an unlikely alliance. Although a goodhearted soul at his core, Stürm uses his newfound freedom to commit another crime, and soon finds the police closing in.

Using her connections, Babs finds Stürm temporary refuge and takes him on as a client in hopes of using the publicity to advance her cause. But Stürm has a very different ideology of freedom and proves to be more difficult to manage than Babs realises.

Based on a true story, Caged Birds explores a radical partnership of conflicting priorities between state repression and personal freedom.

Australian Premiere
18+ (exemption)
Oliver Rihs
Marie Leuenberger, Joel Basman, Jella Haase, Anatole Taubman
2020 | 118 min | Switzerland, Germany | Drama, Romance | German and Swiss German with English subtitles
Two outsiders who held up a mirror to society
Best Actress, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival 2020
Best Feature Film, Best Actor, Cinema Prize, Best Cinematography, Don Quijote Award, Avanca Film Festival 2021
Best Actress, Best Actor, Swiss Film Prize 2022

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