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Review: Amine – Held auf Bewährung


- In his Solothurn Audience Award winner, Dani Heusser modestly stages the vicissitudes of Amine, a Guinean immigrant who dreams of a better future in Switzerland

Review: Amine – Held auf Bewährung
Amine Diare Confé in Amine-Held auf Bewährung

Editor, producer and editorial manager for several Swiss television shows, Dani Heusser has also been an independent filmmaker and lecturer in video content creation at the ZHAW (Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften) since 2015. His first feature film Amine-Held auf Bewährung, winner of the Audience Award at the Solothurn Film Festival, ventures into the everyday life of a character who is both luminous and complex, with a disarming sincerity but also a troubled past that he jealously guards.

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Amine Diare Confé fled Guinea for Europe when he was only fifteen years old. The journey was traumatic, as for many other migrants, marked by violence and deprivation, a journey of hope in search of an El Dorado that often turns out to be less idyllic than expected. Despite the many difficulties associated with his asylum application and an uncertain daily life in which the fight to exist becomes a daily struggle, Amine continues to dream of a protected place in which to rebuild himself.

During the first Covid pandemic wave, his unstoppable vital energy drives him to launch the 'Essen füre Alle' initiative with the aim of providing free food to people in need. His voluntary work turns this 22-year-old into Switzerland's most famous asylum seeker. His days seem endless, punctuated by work on behalf of the association and the brief moments of solitude spent in his tiny room pondering a future that despite the difficulties he stubbornly sees as bright. Supported by friends he met after his arrival in Switzerland, the film's protagonist continues to believe in spite of everything in a system that does not want to give him the stability he wants with all his might.

Amine-Held auf Bewährung reveals the vicissitudes of a character who, like many others, fights for his dignity, for the right to a better life. What attracts one to Amine's destiny, however, is not so much his exceptional vitality or tireless humanity, but rather the shadows that almost imperceptibly darken his gaze. Amine never speaks directly about his painful past and if he does, it is through animations that illustrate his intentions. He prefers to keep his pain within himself, with a doggedness that is often difficult to comprehend. What are the consequences of this refusal to face the wounds of the past? Our hero's apparent stability and strength of character are in fact fragile, constantly tested by memories that return cyclically to torment him. It is precisely these micro moments of doubt, these fissures of the soul that give Amine his humanity, that turn him into the word bearer of an incalculable number of destinies that, like his own, depend on the will of others. The film's protagonist believes he does not have the right to look inside himself, afraid of what he might find, terrified of being overwhelmed by the shadowy part that is, after all, part of each of us.

Amine-Held auf Bewährung is a film that turns anguish into hope, resentment into a struggle for a future in which to live at peace with oneself and one's wounds.

Amine-Held auf Bewährung was produced by Zurich company Catpics and the SRF Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen.

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(Translated from Italian)

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