Die Letzte Chance (The Last Chance), honouring Swiss cinema

Film still of Die Letzte Chance (The Last Chance) © RR

Selected for the first edition of the Festival de Cannes in the post-war context of 1946, Die Letzte Chance (The Last Chance) won the International Peace Award for director Leopold Lindtberg, an Austrian exiled in Switzerland. Die Letzte Chance is the first Swiss film to be presented at Cannes Classics, as a restored version.

Italy, 1943. Among escaped prisoners, an Englishman and an American try to reach Switzerland. Aided in their efforts by an English pilot, they help a group of refugees from ten different nations to reach the country. One man's sacrifice will enable the whole group of survivors to reach freedom.

In 1946, the Festival de Cannes, initially planned in 1939, occurred for the first time. Leopold Lindtberg, an Austrian of Jewish origin living in Switzerland, presented Die Letzte Chance, furthering the cultural diversity that the event wished to promote. The film appears as a true testament to the unity and solidarity which prevail in times of war.

Die Letzte Chance is a kind of recollection and reflection of the experiences of the filmmaker who, after going to Germany to carry out his work, had to emigrate to Switzerland, the country he saw as the "last chance". This film by Lindtberg, who won a Golden Globe in 1947, immediately raised the issues of refugees and asylum policy, themes which resonate particularly powerfully in the current climate.

Presented by the Swiss Film Archive. Restored by the Swiss Film Archive and the Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen (SRF), supported by Memoriav at the Hiventy laboratory.