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Journey To Kafiristan, The (Reise nach Kafiristan, Die)

Journey To Kafiristan, The

In 1939, the author Annemarie Schwarzenbach and the ethnologist Ella Maillart travel together by car to Kabul, but each is in pursuit of her own project. Annemarie Schwarzenbach, who was among Erika and Klaus Mann's circle of friends in the 30s, is searching for a place of refuge in the Near East to discover her own self. Ella Maillart justifies her restlessness, her need for movement and travel, with a scientific pretext: she would like to explore the mysterious Kafiristan Valley and make a name for herself with publications on the archaic life of the nomads living there. Both women are on the run, but political developments and their own biographies catch up with them again and again. Their mutual journey through the outside world, which runs from Geneva via the Balkans and Turkey to Persia, is compounded by the inner world of emotions with a tender love story. As both women arrive in Kabul, World War II breaks out and puts an end to their plans.


Fosco Dubini was born in 1954 in Zurich. From 1975 - 1981, he studied Drama, Film and Television at the University of Cologne. From 1977-79, he was a member of the Film Collective Zurich. Since 1991, he has been an instructor at the ESAV Ecole Supérieure d'Art Visuel in Geneva. Together with his brother Dontatello, their films include: BLINDGÄNGER (1983), ÜBER MIR DER HIMMEL, UNTER MIR EIN SCHWARZES LOCH (1984), tHE DISAPPEARNCE OF ETTORE MAJORANA (DAS VERSCHWINDEN DES ETTORE MAJORANA, 1986), KLAUS FUCHS - ATOM SPY (KLAUS FUCHS, ATOMSPION, documentary, 1989), J.K. - EXPERIENCE IN DEALING WITH ONE'S OWN EGO (J.K. - ERFAHRUNGEN IM UMGANG MIT DEM EIGENEN ICH, documentary, 1991), LUDWIG 1881 (1993), JEAN SEBERG - AMERICAN ACTRESS (documentary, 1995), THE JOURNEY TO KAFIRISTAN (2001), THOMAS PYNCHON - A JOURNEY INTO THE MIND OF P. (documentary, 2001), and HEDY LAMARR - SECRETS OF A HOLLYWOOD STAR (2006).

Donatello Dubini was born in 1955 in Zurich and died 2011 in Cologne. He pursued Film Studies at the Film Academy in Vienna from 1975-1977, followed by studies of Drama, Film and Television Studies at the University of Cologne. He was a member of the Film Collective Zurich from 1977-1979 and is also a member of the filmmakers' and distributors' initiative "Der Andere Blick". Together with his brother Fosco, their films include: BLINDGÄNGER (1983), ÜBER MIR DER HIMMEL, UNTER MIR EIN SCHWARZES LOCH (1984), tHE DISAPPEARNCE OF ETTORE MAJORANA (DAS VERSCHWINDEN DES ETTORE MAJORANA, 1986), KLAUS FUCHS - ATOM SPY (KLAUS FUCHS, ATOMSPION, documentary, 1989), J.K. - EXPERIENCE IN DEALING WITH ONE'S OWN EGO (J.K. - ERFAHRUNGEN IM UMGANG MIT DEM EIGENEN ICH, documentary, 1991), LUDWIG 1881 (1993), JEAN SEBERG - AMERICAN ACTRESS (documentary, 1995), THE JOURNEY TO KAFIRISTAN (2001), THOMAS PYNCHON - A JOURNEY INTO THE MIND OF P. (documentary, 2001), and HEDY LAMARR - SECRETS OF A HOLLYWOOD STAR (2006).
Genre Art, History, Literature, Drama, Biopic, Love Story
Category Feature
Year of Production 2001
Directors Fosco Dubini, Donatello Dubini
Screenplay Fosco Dubini, Donatello Dubini, Barbara Marx
Cinematography Matthias Kaelin
Christel Maye
Jan Garbarek, Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, Wolfgang Hamm, Madredeus
Gudrun Roscher
Cast Jeanette Hain, Nina Petri
Producers Fosco Dubini, Donatello Dubini
Production Company Dubini Filmproduktion/Cologne, in co-production with Tre Valli Filmproduktion/Zurich, Artcam The Netherlands/Arnhem, in association with ZDF, ARTE
Length 100 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Versions English, French
Sound Technology Dolby SR
Sound Technology Dolby SR, Dolby Stereo
Festivals Locarno 2001 (Piazza), Hamburg 2001, Nouveau Cinéma Montreal 2001, International Film Festival of India 2001, Lesbisch Schwule Filmtage Hamburg 2001, Sao Paulo 2001, Gothenburg 2001, Rotterdam 2002, Mar de Plata 2002, Jerusalem 2002
Awards International Independent Film Critics' Award 2001
With backing from Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, Filmbuero NW, Filmfoerderung Berlin-Brandenburg, Filmfoerderung Zuerich, Suissimage, Eurimages

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