The Foster Boy

The Foster Boy  {Die Verdingbub}
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The Foster Boy
Die Verdingbub
Switzerland, 2011, 108 Minute Running Time
Additional Countries: Germany
Topics: Coming of Age, History
Program: World Cinema Now
Language: Swiss German English Sub-Titles

As harrowing as it is beautiful, this poignant drama is Switzerland’s biggest domestic box office hit to date. It tells the story of an orphan boy named Max who is sent to a foster home when his mother dies, and soon after contracted out to work on a farm. But instead of finding affection and acceptance from the Bosiger family, they treat him as little more than an animal. Jakob, the Bosigers’ mean-spirited son, especially enjoys humiliating Max.

For Max, playing the accordion is the one thing that is entirely his. It gives him the courage and self-esteem he needs to survive. He also values his friendship with Berteli, another orphan working on the farm. At school the two children learn about Argentina, a country of meat and accordions. It becomes their fantasyland of promise and hope.

When a new teacher from the city recognizes his talent for music, Max gets the chance to perform at the local festival. But his happiness sparks another bout of Jakob’s envy and malevolence.

DIRECTOR: Markus Imboden
Producer: Peter Reichenbach, Claudia Schröder
Editor: Ursula Höf
Screenwriter: Plinio Bachmann, Jasmine Hoch
Cinematographer: Peter von Haller
Music: Ben Jeger
Principal Cast: Max Hubacher, Max Simonischek, Katja Riemann, Stefan Kurt, Lisa Brand
Filmography: Morderisches Wespennest (2011), Der Tote in der Mauer (2008), Morderische Erpressung (2006), Heidi (2001), Comedian (2000), Mrs. Rettich, Czerni and I (1998), Katzendiebe (1996), Bingo (1990)
Print Source: Global Screen GmbH -

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