Austria/France 2007, Documentary, 71' | Director Daniella Marxer | Screenplay Daniella Marxer | DoP Johannes Hammel | Editor Sophie Reiter | Sound Ingrid Städeli, Béatrice Wick, Stéphane Larrat | Composer Rainier Lericolais | Producer Michel David

In the Engadine elite boarding school Lyceum Aloinum Zuoz, in which the offspring of the richest and most influential families of the world are educated, everything revolves around rules and ensuring they are maintained. Individuality and thinking for oneself are not in fashion here. Only those who conform may stay here. Minor misdemeanors are dealt with on the spot – such as ten knee bends for being five minutes late. Worse digressions, if committed during a probationary period, result in expulsion from the school. Restriction through discipline and control comes first, before inherited privileges are exercised. Pupils may not lock their doors and are tested with breathalysers, like those used by the police. Training the future elite includes breaking down hierarchies as well as involvement with a variety of sports such as cricket, golf, tennis or hockey. When they leave, ex-pupils become members of the Zuoz Club, an international network of the rich.

Daniella Marxer’s film Zuoz is a journey to another world, isolated in the ice of the Swiss mountains. Once you have arrived there, only rarely are glimpses of the outside world permitted, because life as we know it has no place here in this labyrinth of rooms and corridors, rules and regulations. In 2007, the documentation was awarded the 3sat-Film Award as the best documentary. In this film, wrote 3sat on its homepage, “the camera follows the young people like a benevolent but powerless guardian angel, sliding through the dark sides of stereotype correctness and well-groomed arrogance, turning them into insubstantial puppets of the overall structure”.


Austrian woman DANIELLA MARXER was born in 1966. She studied German and Theatre Studies at the University of Vienna and at the Sorbonne in Paris, taking various courses in film design, dramaturgy and film editing at the Sorbonne Nouvelle , the Association Braquage/Le Cinéma Visuel and the Association Jemmapes. Marxer lives and works in Paris and Vienna. Apart from her own film projects, she makes promotional films for the industrial and cultural sectors.

Daniella Marxer
Austria, France
Focus: Freedom