The Children from the Napf

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    The Children from the Napf

    Die Kinder vom Napf

    Directed by

    Switzerland

    2011

    91 min

    • German

    Documentary

    Fifty children of mountain farmers, six miles of walking to school, a childhood in the heart of Switzerland. We accompany the children early in the morning, plodding through deep snow to the village school, back to the farms in the afternoon, where every child has its chores. At an early age the youngest generation is initiated to the livelihood of mountain farming.
    The story takes us from farm to farm and introduces us to an isolated, but also sheltered life. Through the eyes of the children we experience closely what it means if suddenly a wolf turns up or a hawk gets the chickens or how the children face the inclement whims of the weather.
    For 365 days the director and writer Alice Schmid accompanied the mountain children of the municipality of Romoos with her camera in the craggy, wild landscape around Mount Napf, to the mythical chasm of Aenziloch, where according to legend thunder is created and demons are dwelling to the present day. She created powerful images of the annual cycle in the “Wild West” of Lucerne.

    Credits

    Cinematography
    Alice Schmid
    Editing
    Caterina Mona
    Music
    Daniel Almada

    Director's Statement

    I had always wanted to make a film around Mount Napf. The place exerts a magic attraction on me. I have an old farmhouse there. I can hardly bear staying in it alone at night; I am scared. After over twenty years of filmmaking in Africa, Asia and South America, I have finally succeeded in returning to this place. I was at work with my camera for 365 days. The heroes are the children of Mount Napf.

    Production
    CINE A.S. GMBH
    Sales
    ATRIX FILMS GMBH
    Alice Schmid

    Alice Schmid

    Switzerland

    Born in Lucerne in 1951. Studied Spanish and Italian. Writer and filmmaker. In 1996 foundation of Ciné A.S.Ltd. in Zurich.Alice Schmid tells stories from all over the world, with the focus always on the children. Her work has won international awards (Gold in Biarritz, the Erich Kaestner Prize, a nomination for Grimme). On Swiss Television she reaches over 600,000 viewers. With her first novel “Thirteen Is My Number”, also set around Mount Napf, she made it onto the Swiss Bestseller List.
    In every one of her works so far, Alice Schmid has been dealing with children of this world. SAY NO (1993) is a film classic on child abuse. In Liberia and Sierra Leone (1999/2002) she featured child soldiers. In EVERY DROP FOR THE FUTURE (1996) she accompanied a Bolivian girl on her two-hour walk to school. In LETTER TO GROWN-UPS (1994) she portrayed a childhood in the mine-fields of Cambodia. With her first feature film THE CHILDREN OF MOUNT NAPF, she is now returning to Switzerland, to the epicenter of her first, direct experiences, to the region that is also the setting of her successful literary debut THIRTEEN IS MY NUMBER (2011).

    Selected Filmography