The Cleveland International Film Festival promotes artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition to enrich the life of the community.
Country: Switzerland/West Germany/Austria
Run Time: 100 minutes
Winner of the Silver Bear at the 1981 Berlin Film Festival, THE BOAT IS FULL was also highly praised during the New Directors/New Films series in New York last year. During World War II, Switzerland was an "overcrowded lifeboat," according to one Swiss official; a 1942 law protected Nazi deserters as political refugees. Nonpolitical refugees, however, were returned to Germany, a death sentence for most Jews. Only families with children under age six were allowed to remain. THE BOAT IS FULL is the story of a group of six refugees who escape Germany and find a hiding place across the Swiss border. The group is led by Judith (Tina Engel), Jewish wife of a Christian already placed in a Swiss refugee camp, and includes her younger brother, an 80-year-old Jew (Curt Bois) with a young granddaughter, a deserting German soldier and an orphaned five-year-old French boy. Their lives depend on this ragtag group posing as a single family. The human drama is balanced against the Swiss obsession for obedience to the law, the dispassionate "rules of the game" in these life and death circumstances.
"More than a discovery. . . the film is fresh, purposeful and surprising at every turn." - Janet Maslin, New York Times
Markus Imhoof (from a book by Alfred A. Haesler)
Tina Engel, Hans Diehl, Martin Walz, Curt Bois