Michael Steiner’s And Tomorrow We Will Be Dead, a true-life hostage drama about a Swiss couple kidnapped by the Taliban, will open this year’s Zurich International Film Festival.
Morgane Ferru and Sven Schelker star as Swiss couple Daniela Widmer and David Och who were traveling through Pakistan in 2011 when they were taken hostage by Taliban forces in the area. All of Switzerland followed the events as they were kept captive over eight months before they managed a spectacular escape.
And Tomorrow We Will be Dead will kick off the 17th Zurich Film Festival (ZFF) on Sept. 23. This is the second of Steiner’s films to be selected for Zurich’s opening night, following his Alpine horror story Sennentuntschi, which opened Zurich in 2010.
“Michael Steiner understands auteur cinema with great audience appeal like no other Swiss director,” said ZFF artistic director Christian Jungen. “His new movie, his strongest to date, demonstrates international stature. The film reminds me of Kathryn Bigelow’s thriller Zero Dark Thirty about the hunt for Osama bin Laden.”
And Tomorrow We Will Be Dead is suddenly extremely topical, coming after the U.S. military exit from Afghanistan and the Taliban’s conquest of the country.
Steiner’s new film is told from the perspective of Widmer and Och, who went to Pakistan to fulfill their dream of traveling the ancient Silk Road. When they were seized by the Taliban few expected them to survive. Amazingly, the pair became the first civilians to escape the group of “holy warriors” and return home.
Steiner based And Tomorrow We Will Be Dead on Widmer and Och’s non-fiction book of the same name, published in 2013 by DuMont Buchverlag.
“I’m a storyteller and here I wanted to give a personal insight into the fate of the two hostages Daniela Widmer and David Och, so that the audience understands the context,” said Steiner.
Both Widmer and Och will attend the world premiere of And Tomorrow We Will Be Dead in Zurich.
Produced by Zodiac Pictures in co-production with MMC Zodiac, SRF and Blue, And Tomorrow We Will Be Dead will be released in Switzerland by Disney and hit local theaters on Oct. 28.
The 17th Zurich Film Festival runs Sept. 23-Oct. 3.