Broken Land

  • Switzerland
Audio Tracks 

Somewhere in this deserted landscape along the enormous border, which separates the United States from Mexico, a small community of Americans lives their daily lives in the shadow of the fence, erected to protect them from clandestine immigration.

They all monitor the traces left by the crossing migrants. Stirring shadows on surveillance cameras, skeletal remains fading in the sun or mere footprints in the sand: the ghostly presence of those who are simply passing through becomes an obsession for some of the residents.

Each in their own way is affected by this immense scar, which scores the horizon, and has become a breeding ground for myths and fantasies. Some barricade themselves off behind a multitude of surveillance gadgets, dominated by a fear of the unknown. Others feel the need to actively defend their territory, finding a purpose to their often solitary lives. Others, outraged by the continuous monitoring of the border and the intrusion into their privacy, try to help migrants in need.

Endearing and complex, they disclose their anguish, at the forefront of a society that is closing itself off.


  • Original Title
    Broken Land
  • Direction
  • Cinematography
    Peter Mettler, Luc Peter
  • Editing
    Florent Mangeot, Peter Mettler, Vincent Pluss
  • Music
    Franz Treichler
  • Sound
    Jürg Lempen
  • Runtime
    75 min (46-90 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • Switzerland
  • Format
    • Colour
  • Production
  • Distribution
  • Festivals
    • 2016 DOK Leipzig Lake Festival India
    • 2016 One World Romania
    • 2016 Festival International du FilmDocumentaire Millenium
    • 2016 Festival Internacional de Cine en Guadalajara
    • 2015 Fast Forward HRFF Podgorica
    • 2015 Forum of International and EuropeanResearch on Immigration Torino
    • 2015 FIFF Namur
    • 2015 DocsDF Mexico
    • 2015 Raindance Film Festival
    • 2015 CineMigrante Buenos Aires
    • 2015 Planete + Doc Film Festival Warsaw
    • 2015 BELDOCS
    • 2015 BAFICI
    • 2015 International Film Festival Rotterdam
    • 2015 Journées de Soleure
    • 2014 Semaine de la critique – Festivaldel film Locarno is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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