Getrud Woker, one of the first female professors in Europe, was an early feminist and pacifist, advocating for women’s rights and against war. Yet her story was never included in historical accounts, despite the fact that she challenged the societal conventions of the day to oppose gender discrimination and immoral war practices. She was – as she continues to be today – a true inspiration for self-determined women.
As early as 1917, Gertrud Woker was vocal about her demands for women’s rights. As one of the first female science professors in Europe, she advocated “Equal pay for equal work.” But she was also a staunch pacifist, criticizing the use of poisonous gases in the war effort, based on her research as a scientist. Despite opposition from the militaristic and politicians elite of the day, she fought relentlessly for peace and against the misuse of science. She was ultimately declared insane and spent her last years in a psychiatric hospital. She disappeared from history – either accidentally or deliberately – but definitely unjustly.
The documentary, THE PACIFIST, narrates the life and achievements of this fascinating woman through a rich collage of artistic forms, including animation. Using diary entries, scientific reports and poems by Gertrud Woker herself, the film is all the more poignant for its intimacy and honesty. THE PACIFIST is biographical, but also a documentation of contemporary events, illuminated by the perspective of a courageous woman who would not be silenced during her lifetime.
"Original and convincing ... Trumps with a range of animations and photo collages that inform and touch at the same time."
(Dominic Schmid, Keystone-SDA)
"The artfully assembled and carefully researched film portrait is of particular relevance to the current debate about fake news, state surveillance and #MeToo."
(Nick Joyce, Basler Zeitung)
"Fabian Chiquet and Matthias Affolter have set out with a lot of love and empathy on the buried traces of Getrud Woker."
(Simone Meier, Watson)
""The Pacifist" is a wonderfully shimmering mosaic that captures the life of a no less shimmering female figure who has been wrongly forgotten."
(Gisela Feuz, Radio raven )
With this film we want to make the forgotten story of an outstanding woman stand out. Gertrud Woker's story is topical because it was ahead of its time in various areas: It called for equal rights for women, international understanding instead of nationalism, responsibility for science and interdisciplinary thinking. With her bold and innovative ideas, she went against the conventions of her time and anticipated many things that were only implemented after her death - and are still relevant today.
Although Gertrud Woker was not allowed to witness the results of her 90-year struggle, her story is encouraging. Because despite setbacks, defeats and hostility, Gertrud Woker remained productive and combative until the end of her life. As a "gnarled oak tree in the middle of the wasteland" - as she describes herself - she led a life according to her own ideas. In doing so, she confronts us all with the question of our values and ideals:
What am I willing to sacrifice for my beliefs? What does it mean to take responsibility for your own life?
LOTS OF PRESS & AUDIENCE AT THE CINEMA RELEASE
The film has been in cinemas for 8 weeks now and is still being shown in German-speaking cities - we are very happy about that! The media response at the start of the premiere was also enormous. They were all there: NZZ, Tagesanzeiger, Der Bund, Berner Zeitung, SRF, 20 Minuten, Ensuite, Anabelle, Brigitte, Watson, Bolero and and and ... it was a pleasure to see that we have so many people in Gertrud Woker's legacy could bring closer! We would also like to thank everyone who worked in the background for this film - especially MIlan Film, First Hand Films, Prosa Film & all partner organizations! And now, if you haven't seen the film yet: off to the cinema!
SWISS CINEMA RELEASE IN SEPTEMBER 2021
With First Hand Films , a wonderful distributor will bring the film to Swiss cinemas this autumn. All information about the dates, cities and cinemas will soon be published on this homepage under DATA .
We will hold various special events with great partner organizations and guests!
FIRST PRESS REPORTS
Although not yet in the cinema, there have already been some reports about the film, including recently in great detail in the magazine "Neue Wege" for which Gertrud Woker had already written at the time.
Click here for the New Ways article .
Also to read about our premiere at the Solothurn Film Festival:
PREMIERE AT THE SOLOTHURNER FILM DAYS 2021
Even if only online, we celebrated the premiere properly!
Watch the festival film talk with the directors here.
Musicians, artists, filmmakers
Co-author, co-director, animation
Chiquet has been realizing projects as an artist, musician, theater director and filmmaker for 15 years. Starting as a video artist, he exhibited in galleries in Switzerland and Germany and had his first museum exhibitions in 2010 at the Osthaus Museum Hagen and the Kunsthaus Langenthal. He has received various Swiss art awards for his video and sound installations. His video clip Funeral March received an award at the Solothurn Film Festival in 2016.
As a musician, Fabian Chiquet founded the band The bianca Story together with Elia Rediger in 2006, in which he works as a songwriter and keyboardist. In addition to the successful music albums and tours throughout Europe, the band has made a name for itself in the field of music theater with productions at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, among others. You are the winner of the Basler Pop Prize and in 2013 you achieved the highest amount of crowdfunding ever collected for music in Europe.
For several years now, Fabian Chiquet has been developing music and dance theater projects on his own. His debut Parade premiered in 2013 in the Basel barracks. This was followed by the productions The Wedding Party Massacre and Alice, both of which premiered at the Konzert Theater Bern. He is currently working with Victor Moser on the music film project I'll Remember You. The Pacifist is his first feature film.
Co-writer, co-director, editor
Matthias Affolter is an independent filmmaker and author and studied German, philosophy and history in Basel and Berlin. He worked as a film journalist and author for satirical programs on Swiss television and made numerous commissioned documentaries and television films before he devoted himself to documentary storytelling. His first feature documentary Berge im Kopf was released in 2014, reached over 10,000 cinema viewers and was screened at ten festivals. His second feature documentary, Im Spiegel, was released in Swiss cinemas in 2020.
Milan Film AG focuses on the development and production of documentaries and feature films for cinema and television. The production company headquartered in Basel attaches great importance to the contemporary implementation of current, socially relevant topics. The focus of the films is primarily on people with their moral and existential questions.
Producer, founder and management: Cyrill Gerber
Cyrill Gerber, born 1984, studied philosophy and German in Basel. Initially worked as a screenwriter at Constantin Entertainment in Munich and completed training as a producer at the Bavarian Academy for Television. In 2018 he finally produced his first feature film OUT OF PARADISE as a co-producer, which won the prize for best film at the Shanghai International Film Festival. As a board member of Balimage (Basler Verein für Film und Medienkunst), he campaigns for Basel as a film city and is a member of the Swiss producers' association IG Independent Swiss Film Producers.
Producer, co-management: Caroline Meier
Caroline Meier studied cultural management in Basel and media studies in Zurich. She started out as part of the press team at the Zurich Film Festival and then joined the culture-oriented communications agency eggliwintsch. For the position of doctoral supervisor at the film distribution company cineworx, she finally moved to Basel, where she also took on the office coordination of the Balimage association as a secondary mandate. After a short detour into the gastronomy and hotel industry, she finally came to Milan Film, where she can now combine all her skills.
The Pazifistin is now available online.
DIE PAZIFISTIN war 2021 in folgenden Kinos im Programm:
BASEL: Kultkino Basel | BERN: Kino Rex | BIEL: Filmpodium Biel | BRUGG: Odeon | CHUR: KinoChur Apollo | DELEMONT: La Grange | ENGELBERG: Kino Engelberg | FRAUENFELD: Kino Luna | LENK: Cinema Lenk | GENF: Grütli Genève | LAUSANNE: Zinéma | LIESTAL: Sputnik | LUZERN: Stattkino | MÄNNEDORF: Kino Wildenman | MURI: Kino Mansarde Muri | NEUCHÂTEL: Cinéma Minimum | OLTEN: Filmverein Lichtspiele | ORON-LA-VILLE: Cinéma d'Oron | PONTRESINA: Cinéma Rex | REINACH: TaB Atelier Kino | ROMANSHORN: Kino Roxy | SAINT-CROIX: Cinéma Royal | SCHAFFHAUSEN: Kiwi Scala | ST.GALLEN: KinoK | STEIN AM RHEIN: Cinema Schwanen | WINTERTHUR: Cameo | WORB: Chinoworn | ZÜRICH: Arthouse Le Paris
A headstrong child
Gertrud Woker learned in her parents' home that education and knowledge are the prerequisites for a self-determined life. The father was a respected professor of history and theology - he fought with the Pope and dealt intensively with the French Revolution and the ideas of the Enlightenment. Well-known artists and scholars went in and out of the family. Even as a child, Gertrud showed a spirit of contradiction.
She was a freedom-loving child who ...
GERTRUD WOKER: HER BIOGRAPHY
THE TRACE SEEKERS
GERIT VON LEITNER
WOLLEN WIR UNSERE HÄNDE IN UNSCHULD WASCHEN?
GERTRUD WOKER (1878-1968) CHEMIKERIN & INTERNATIONALE FRAUENLIGA, 1915-1968.
DER DOKTORHUT IM BESENSCHRANK:
DAS ABENTEUERLICHE LEBEN DER ERSTEN STUDENTINNEN - AM BEISPIEL DER UNIVERSITÄT BERN.
„DER KAMPF DER FRAUEN GEGEN DIE HÖLLE VON GIFT UND FEUER”:
DIE IFFF, GERTRUD WOKER UND DIE GIFTGASDISKUSSION IN DER SCHWEIZ DER ZWISCHENKRIEGSZEIT
PETER AFFOLTER, ANNINA BUTTERWORTH, SIMONE BAUMELER,
MATTHIAS CHIQUET, JOËL FONSEGRIVE, RAMÒN GIGER, MATHIAS HEFEL, DANIEL HOWALD,
STEFANIE KUCHLER, ELIA REDIGER, RUTH SCHWEGLER, PASCAL TRÄCHSLIN,
ANNA TSCHANNEN, ROMED WYDER, HANS TISCHER, MARTIN DEGEN, JULIA FELDMANN,
MANUEL KAISER, SANDRA, LUCIEN & PINA CHIQUET, WERNER & MARIE LOUISE BIRRI,
DONATA GENTINETTA, BELINDA SALLIN, DENISE CHERVET, EFISIO CONTINI, WARMBÄCHLI
BRACHE BERN, MANUEL BERNER, MUSIKERWOHNHEIM BASEL, SIMON KÖNIG, DIETER FAHRER,
FABIAN GISLER, MARCEL HAGMANN, URSULA ALTHAUS, ANDREA BLASER, FRANZISKA
SONDER, CLAUDIA SONTHEIM, MARCO MAJOLETH, HEINZ UND ANITA GERBER, ANDREAS
BÜHLMANN, LAURA DANIEL