‘Please hear my prayer. You know that I need your help. You know that I am alone. In a country I don’t know. In a language I don’t speak. In a life I don’t understand.’

In a monastery at the heart of the snow-covered massif of the Swiss Simplon pass, 14-years-old Fortuna folds her hands in prayer, kneeling before a statue of the blessed mother. A photograph of her parents, not seen since the traumatic crossing of the Mediterranean, keeps their memory alive. Like many other refugees, the Ethiopian girl has found shelter with Catholic friars – for the interim, until her residency status is resolved. Lonely and filled with longing to be comforted, Fortuna bears a secret, one which she even keeps from the abbot. With a grand palette of images, from the violently churning sea to the sublimely menacing Alpine peaks, Germinal Roaux paints the portrait of a soul left stranded and attempts to fathom the limits of love.
by Germinal Roaux
with Kidist Siyum Beza, Bruno Ganz, Patrick d’Assumçao, Assefa Zerihun Gudeta, Yoann Blanc
Switzerland / Belgium 2018 French, Amharic 106’ Black/White


  • Kidist Siyum Beza (Fortuna)
  • Bruno Ganz (Brother Jean)
  • Patrick d’Assumçao (Mr. Blanchet)
  • Assefa Zerihun Gudeta (Kabir)
  • Yoann Blanc (Brother Luc)


Written and Directed by Germinal Roaux
Cinematography Colin Lévêque
Editing Sophie Vercruysse, Jacques Comets
Sound Design Emmanuel Soland
Sound Jürg Lempen, Roman Dymny, Emmanuel Soland
Production Design Ivan Niclass
Costumes Geneviève Maulini
Make-Up Laurence Rieux
Casting Muriel Imbach
Assistant Director Freddy Verhoeven
Executive Producer Jean-Marie Gindraux
Producer Ruth Waldburger
Co-Producers Géraldine Sprimont, Anne-Laure Guégan
Co-Production Need Productions Brüssel

World sales

Loco Films

Produced by

Vega Production

Germinal Roaux

Born in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1975, this self-taught photographer and filmmaker works exclusively in black-and-white. As a photo journalist he has been contributing to various magazines since 1996 and he made his first documentary film Des tas de choses in 2003. His debut feature Left Foot Right Foot won numerous prizes including the Swiss Film Award in three categories. He received the Filmmaker Award at the 2016 Zurich Film Festival for Fortuna.


2003 Des tas de choses 2007 Icebergs; short film 2013 Left Foot Right Foot 2018 Fortuna

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2018