The End of Time

The End of Time
dir. Peter Mettler/Switzerland/2012/115 min.
Atlantic, sala B

Working at the limits of what can easily be expressed, filmmaker Peter Mettler takes on the elusive subject of time, and once again attempts to film the unfilmable. From the particle accelerator in Switzerland, where scientists seek to probe regions of time we cannot see, to lava flows in Hawaii, which have overwhelmed all but one home on the south side of Big Island; from the disintegration of downtown Detroit to a Hindu funeral rite near the place of Buddha’s enlightenment, Mettler explores our perception of time. He dares to dream the movie of the future while also immersing us in the wonder of the everyday. There is a prominent role in the film for spellbinding shots of an American pilot who made a record-breaking jump from a hot-air balloon floating 19 miles above the Earth back in 1960.

The core of the documentary consists of apparently spontaneous interviews mixed with images celebrating the beauty of the Earth and the cosmos, sketching patterns and erasing them. The soundtrack accompanies and supports them with minimal, repetitive percussion and mysterious, hissing primal tones. At times the filmmaker also underlines his own role by leaving in asides, showing the editing screen or cleaning the lens. The resulting film is at once personal, rigorous and visionary.


  • projection time:
    115 min.
  • country/year:
    Switzerland /2012
  • director:
    Peter Mettler
  • pictures:
    Camille Budin, Peter Mettler, Nick de Pencier
  • production:
    Brigitte Hofer, Cornelia Seitler, Ingrid Veninger, Gerry Flahive / Maximage
  • festivals and awards:
    2012 – IDFA Amsterdam, 2012 – Locarno IFF, 2012 – Toronto IFF

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