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Quality Award of Swiss Confederation
Unifilm-Prize, Internat.Filmfestival SaarbrŘcken

TransAtlantique 1983

The Zurich ethnologist Roger Wiedmer makes the acquaintance of a Brasilian woman, Zaira Gelbert, on the liner "Eugenio C" between Genua and Rio de Janeiro. Wiedmer is going through a personal crisis and has broken away from his respective surroundings. His idea is to repeat the journey described about forty years previously by Claude LÚvy-Strauss in his "Tristes Tropiques", beginning with the first chapter: "La fin des voyages".

Zaira Gelbert is returning to her roots in her mother country after two years in Europe. The love story between the two lasts during the eleven days' crossing and develops into a dialogue between two civilizations. The encounter with Zaira opens Wiedmer's eyes and he begins to be aware of the sea, the ship and above all the passengers and their life stories. He makes the acquaintance of emigrants, poets, firstclass passengers, tourists, workmen, priests. A blind passenger, also a Swiss, initially gets on his nerves. He is deeply touched by JosÚ, an Argentinian ethnologist who talkes about his experience of the genocide of the Indians in the forests of Latin America.

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