Switzerland, Serbia 2023
77 minutes
directed by: Luka Popadić

This film was created from a unique and unexpected angle, from the experience of the author who is simultaneously a Serbian director and an officer of the Swiss army. It was created to reveal to many that in the land of chocolate, banks and cheese, 150,000 Swiss people have rifles and military equipment in their closets at home.

The surprising, witty, sometimes ironic, touching spirit of this film reveals Switzerland that we do not know through the complexity of situations and reflections of the second generation of immigrants over their own identity in all its changes and differences. The heroes of the film, officers of the Swiss army, whose parents came from Tunisia, Sri Lanka and Serbia, discover how unique amalgams of culture and tradition from the countries of origin are formed in combination with the values of Swiss society and identity. The author, who was a proud rapper before becoming a soldier, creates a dynamic, playful documentary form and in different ways, both as a narrator telling his personal story and following the brilliantly chosen heroes, tries to discover what it really means to be Swiss. Through a series of often amusing situations, we gradually begin to understand how a banker or an engineer the next moment becomes an officer and thinks about commanding clercks, professors, farmers also instantly turned into soldiers. While in the alpine landscape, cows watch the passing of the army, we discover that the film discreetly questions the meaning of the army in modern Switzerland and offers unexpected answers.

A great documentary that constantly surprises us with unprecedented scenes and connections and abundantly revealing story about modern Europe.

Luka Popadić

Born in Baden, Switzerland in 1980. Studied history and political science in Zurich. Worked as an assistant director at the Goodmann Theatre in Chicago, as a graphic designer in Zurich and at Pandastorm Pictures in Berlin. As Swiss army officer participated many international missions all over Europe. Currently holds the rank of captain. Graduated film directing at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade with a M.A. in 2014. Worked with Želimir Žilnik (Berlinale Golden Bear award winner) on documentary films in Africa and Serbia. PhD candidate at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade and at the University of Arts in Zurich where he teaches cinema and is active in the field of artistic researches. His short films have been screend at over 100 festivals and have won many awards. Member of DokSrbija and of the Académie du Cinéma Suisse.

Selected filmography

  • MY SWISS ARMY (Meine Schweizer Armee) Switzerland, Serbia 2023