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Development aid worker Carina Nowak walks into a trap set by the Taliban, together with a squadron of German army soldiers. Only she and young soldier Luca survive and they both have to fight to reach their own goals.

Director Biography - Simon Pfister

Born 1990 in Zurich, Simon Pfister has been studying fiction film directing at the University of Television and Film in Munich. As part of his studies, he´s shot numerous short films and also gathered experience as an editor and assistant director on large sets such as Frantz (2015) by Francois Ozon, Euphoria (2016) by Lisa Langseth und Katakomben (2020) by Jakob Erwa.

His most recent short Beats had its German premiere in 2019 at the Hof international film festival and its international premiere at renowned Brussels Short Film Festival in 2021.

Director Statement

While researching my most recent short film Beats, which depicts the aftermath of a fictional terror attack in Munich, I stumbled across many articles that called the war in Afghanistan the trigger for terrorist attacks in Europe. At this point, I didn´t know a lot about this war and I couldn´t let go of the question of how the deployment of German troops to the Middle East was justified. I started reading up on the topic.

From the start, an important element of the deployment in Afghanistan was the unwillingness of politics to talk about a war there. The deployment was supposed to have only humanitarian intentions, which is easier to justify than a military intervention. But every fallen soldier and every accidentally killed civilian made this argument harder to sustain. The military reality caught more public attention.

I was intrigued by the conflict between those two approaches and the question of which seemed more moral or efficient to me. Is every military intervention bad per se? Is there good and evil in this matters? What would I do?

For the past 10 years, my older brother has been working for the Swiss army and the ICRC and has regularly talked about the conditions in crisis areas. Stories, that are so far removed from my own life but seem very familiar due to dozens of war films I had seen. The stories all had one thing in common: the corruptibility of people in power.

This is the perspective I chose for the development of this short film: there is no right or wrong approach, there are just humane or inhumane methods and intentions. Whatever one‘s intention and means, humanity must never be forgotten.

  • Year
  • Runtime
  • Language
  • Country
  • Note
  • Director
    Simon Pfister
  • Screenwriter
    Simon Pfister, Nathalie Zeidler
  • Producer
    Simon Pfister
  • Cast
    Janna Striebeck, Bless Amada, David Rott, Lukas Brandl
  • Cinematographer
    Ahmed El Nagar
  • Editor
    Laura Heine, Simon Pfister
  • Composer
    Mathias Rehfeldt