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Meier 19

(Meier 19)


Documentary based on the book by Paul Bösch
Written and directed by Erich Schmid
Photography: Pio Corradi
Sound: Jens Rövekamp, Dieter Meyer
Sound Editor and Mixer : Dieter Lengacher
Editor: Katrin Oettli

Switzerland 2001. 35mm, color, 98 min. D/f/e  
Distribution: Praesens-Film AG Zürich

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The policemen's wages were stolen from the Zurich police headquarters. Police inspector Meier 19 discovered that the head of the crime squad which was leading the investigation of the case gave a fake alibi. But instead of investigating the false alibi inspector Meier 19 was imprisoned, his wife demanded the divorce and his friends abandoned him. But the revolutionary youth movement of 1968 supported Meier 19 who became a symbol of the battle against the established order and corruption while his life fell apart like in a classical tragedy.

"Meier 19" is a feature-length documentary designed for theatrical release in Swiss art cinemas. The film interweaves the story of the youth movement in Zurich in the 1960s with the biography of a police officer known as "Meier 19". A singular exception in the world-wide conflict between generations in the 1960s was the historical fact that in Switzerland, a detective officer from Zurich's main police station became a symbol of the anti-authoritarian movement of 1968. A curious coincidence: during the same period as the youth protests, Meier 19 lost his job as a result of his own fight against corruption within the establishment.

Members of the youth movement collected money to support Meier 19 and wrote his name on the banners they carried while demonstrating against the authoritarian structures of post-war society.

One of the most important driving forces behind the youth movement of the time was blues an pop music. But ­ perhaps for this reason ­ Swiss officials fought in that times against the music, which they considered a threat to public decency. Blues and Pop music were even banned from airplay on public radio stations. But the power of the music was stronger.

In a documentary portraying the Swiss youth movement of the 1960s, the pop music of the era is a crucial element.

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