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Face au juge

filmmaker : Pierre-François Sauter
Composer : Pierre-Alain Bertholet
Switzerland, 2008
Production : PCT Cinéma-Télévision SA
French, English


Subsequent to indictments and arrests, the examining magistrate deals with the individual cases. While listening to the accused in closed sessions and deciding their fate, he is directly confronted with brutal social reality. The accused have much to tell about themselves: dramas, accidents, violence, conflicts, misunderstandings, thoroughly calculated schemes and brutal, ill-considered behaviour makes a world come alive in the examiner’s office, appearing at once absurd, ludicrous and tragic. A human comedy is being played out right before our eyes.

Cinéaste en compétition "The Films After Tomorrow" 2020

Tënk's film review

Pierre-François Sauter’s “Face au Juge” opens with a Western soundtrack in a deserted, windswept town. A character straight out of Sergio Leone’s “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” enters the frame with his black hat and long black coat. We see him only from behind. He removes his coat and hat and emerges in suit and tie, transformed into Your Honour the Magistrate – not the bad guy but the judge. In this documentary that gets as close as possible to the people filmed with a realism reminiscent of the Belgian series Strip-Tease, the personal destinies of these Swiss citizens are laid bare before the judge.  There’s the issue of money, the lack of it or stashed away somewhere, but above all it’s the issue of the difficulties of living together. The impression we have is one of sadness, seeking justice and empathy – a complicated mess through which the judge must fight his way every day.

Mathilde Henrot, programmer Locarno Film Festival

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Pierre-François Sauter

Après une enfance au Mozambique, Pierre-François Sauter a vécu à Lisbonne, Paris, Bruxelles et Lausanne. Il débute sa vie professionnelle dans l’édition de gravure, avant de réaliser des films. Il a ensuite travaillé comme réalisateur pour la télévision en Belgique et en Suisse. Depuis 2003, il se consacre à la réalisation et à la production de films pour Le Laboratoire Central, une structure de production basée à Lausanne. Il a réalisé "Face au juge" en 2009, un documentaire nominé au Prix de Soleure et distribué au cinéma en Suisse. "Calabria" est son deuxième long métrage. Sorti à Visions du Réel en 2016 (Mention spéciale du jury), "Calabria" a ensuite été sélectionné dans une trentaine de festivals internationaux et s’est vu décerner quatre Grands Prix (DocLisboa au Portugal, Fidba en Argentine, Flahertiana en Russie et Sanfici en Colombie).

Other films in the collection: Locarno Film Festival