Der grosse Sommer
|Der Grosse Sommer|
Mathias Gnädinger and Loïc Sho Güntensperger on the film poster for the Swiss cinemas
|Directed by||Stefan Jäger|
|Produced by||Katrin Renz|
|Written by||Theo Plakoudakis|
|Music by||Angelo Berardi|
|Edited by||Robin Wenger|
|Distributed by||Impuls Pictures AG|
Der grosse Sommer (English: The great Sommer) is a Swiss-German language film that was released in Switzerland on 28 January 2016. Produced partly in Japan, it is the last film starring Mathias Gnädinger.
- Mathias Gnädinger as Anton Sommer
- Gilles Schyvens-Gnädinger, as young Sommer
- Loïc Sho Güntensperger, as Hiro Akima
- Reto Stalder, as Hofer
- Monica Gubser
- Sonja Riesen
- Hanspeter Müller-Drossaart
- Mitsuko Baisho
- Tomio Suga
Anton Sommer (Mathias Gnädinger) is retired and lives quietly in the countryside. Once a popular Swiss wrestler, Sommer now tinkers with his bottle ships and wants to be left alone. However, Hiro (Loïc Sho Güntensperger) does not respect Sommer's seclusive live. When Hiro's grandmother, the owner of Sommer's apartment, unexpectedly dies, the boy asks Sommer to accompany him to the south of Japan where Hiro intends to attend a school for Sumo wrestlers. Sommer does not intend to fulfill Hiro's wish, concluded with his past. But the little boy is just as stubborn as Sommer; after Hiro threatens him with terminating his lease, the old man fulfills the boy's wish. Sommer leaves Switzerland for the first time in his life, and the two travel to Japan to start developing a strong friendship.
The title of the film refers to the German surname Sommer, and to the German word for "summer". The term gross (meaning "tall") refers to the protagonist's statur, and also to "great".
Mathias Gnädinger died on 3 April 2015, but the filming in Switzerland and Japan was finished in autumn 2014, thus as of April 2015 the post production works not yet finished. Tellfilm decided to release the film in (late) summer 2015 instead of 2016 as planned and again re-scheduled. The film was released in Switzerland on 28 January 2016. The script bases on two intense research trips to Japan. The production is supported by the Swiss Federal Office of Culture, the Zürich Film Foundation and the so-called Migros Kulturprozent.
The production works in Japan were documented by 10vor10, and Gnädiger was absolutely fascinated by the old Japanese tradition, and his ten-year-old co-star Loïc Sho of Swiss-Japanese origin. Gnädinger was told to get in touch with the Swiss wrestling (Schwingen) just one time as a boy. Ursula Gnädinger assisted her husband at the production works as make-up artist. Gnädinger's son Gilles plays Sommer as a young man.
The film was released under the title Der grosse Sommer in the DVD format (RC2) on 25 August 2016. The home release includes language versions in German and Swiss German, and subtitles in English, French, Italian, Japanese and German.
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