Thomas Imbach

Switzerland, 2020 / 132 min / German & English OV with French & English subt. / Documentary

Filmed over the course of seven years out of one window, “Nemesis” chronicles the destruction of the Zurich train station to build a new prison.

The distinctive old freight station in Zürich once brought prosperity to the city. Its construction unleashed a flow of goods and opened Switzerland to the world. But 125 years later, this symbol of international exchange and movement is making way for control, isolation and national security. A new prison and police centre is slowly rising in its place, designed to accommodate people awaiting deportation.

Shot entirely from his window, filmmaker Thomas Imbach observed the construction site for more than seven years, wringing life and beauty from the restless movement of machines and people that are reshaping the area. Fuelled by Imbach’s consternation, and accompanied by his personal story and testimonies of newly arrived immigrants who made the arduous journey across the Mediterranean, only to be confronted by Europe’s growing xenophobia, Nemesis probes how we deal with the extinction of history.


Fri 05/03 13:30 Ciné Utopia DE & EN OV with FR subt. Public
Sat 06/03 10:00 Public
Tue 09/03 16:00 Ciné Utopia DE & EN OV with FR subt. Public
Wed 10/03 19:00 Cinémathèque DE & EN OV with EN subt. Public
Sun 14/03 16:00 Cinémathèque DE & EN OV with EN subt. Public
  • Best Cinematography, IDFA, 2020 (Netherlands)
  • Best Documentary, Zürcher Filmpreis, 2020 (Switzerland)
Cast & Credits
Milan Peschel
Thomas Imbach
Thomas Imbach
Peter Bräker
KALI Trio, Lukas Langenegger
Okofilm Productions, Bachim Films
Frenetic Films

Thomas Imbach was born in Lucerne, Switzerland in 1962. In 2007, he founded the production company Okofilm Productions together with director Andrea Štaka and has produced his own films ever since. With Well Done (1994) and Ghetto (1997), he established his own audiovisual signature style, based on a combination of “cinéma verité”, camera effects and time-lapse computer editing. His documentary Day is Done (2011) was featured in the Forum strand of the 2011 Berlinale. His English-language period drama Mary Queen of Scots was selected for Toronto, whereas his feature My Brother, My Love (2018) premiered at Locarno before winning the City of Zurich’s Best Film Award (Zürcher Filmpreis). His latest film, Nemesis, premiered at IDFA in 2020 and has won several prices.

  • 2020 – Nemesis (documentary)
  • 2018 – My Brother, My Love
  • 2013 – Mary Queen of Scots
  • 2011 – Day Is Done (documentary)
  • 2007 – I Was a Swiss Banker
  • 2006 – Lenz
  • 2002 – Happy Too
  • 2001 – Happiness Is a Warm Gun
  • 1998 – Nano-Babies (documentary short)
  • 1997 – Ghetto (documentary)
  • 1994 – Well Done (documentary)
  • 1991 – Restlessness
  • 1991 – Schlachtzeichen