Voices and Shells

It begins in the dark, in a corridor; water is flowing … voices echo in these sewer tunnels; it is the abyss of Munich, under the river Isar. The voices tell fragments of stories: about vanished people, violence, memory loss—while the camera is now above ground, scanning the city’s façades, including those of the “Third Reich.” The city appears as a body winding its way through time, past and present. Like a thread through memories, a spiral runs through it: a shell, a whirlpool, the turn of a staircase, the ever-recurring voices of the past. The film is a collage: it jumbles traces of history and forms of nature, bringing images, voices, and sounds from different sources to the same level. A story of living beings and living environments, of fossils that challenge our perception of time. (Maya Schweizer)
by Maya Schweizer
with Samahar Steiner, Jo Heeyoung, Selma von Wedemeyer, Paulette Obedia
Germany 2016 French, German, English 18’ Colour


  • Samahar Steiner
  • Jo Heeyoung
  • Selma von Wedemeyer (Voice)
  • Paulette Obedia (Other voice)


Written and Directed by Maya Schweizer
Cinematography Maya Schweizer
Editing Maya Schweizer
Sound Design Maya Schweizer
Sound Mixing Joe Talia
Producers Sabine Schmid Museum Villa Stuck, Maya Schweizer

Produced by

Maya Schweizer

Maya Schweizer

Maya Schweizer studied art and art history in Aix-en-Provence, at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig (HGB), and at the University of the Arts (UdK) in Berlin. Schweizer works in different media, with a particular focus on experimental documentary. She has had numerous solo exhibitions and has shown her work in group exhibitions and at biennials. Her videos have been selected for numerous festivals and events. In 2017 her short film A Tall Tale was shown at Forum Expanded. Schweizer works in Germany and France.

Filmography (selection)

2003 Le pigeon; video installation, 2 min. · Your destiny depends on your lucky charm's mood (today); 8 min. 2004 Encore la plage; 10 min. 2005 Après le maquis; 4 min. · La Récréation; 6 min. · Une collection; 4 min. 2006 Metropolis, Report from China; 42 min. 2007 Passing Down, Frame One; 11 min. 2008 From the Classroom; video installation, 6 min. · La corsa del venditore; 8 min. 2009 Before the Rehearsal; 16 min. 2010 Au dos de la carte postale; video installation, 16 min. 2012 A Memorial, a Synagogue, a Bridge and a Church; 12 min. 2014 I, an Archeologist; 20 min. · La Main Seule; 3 min. · Le Soldat mourant des Milles (The Dying Soldier of Les Milles); 13 min. · Sous les Jardins, Villa Torlonia; 4 min. 2016 Texture of Oblivion; 18 min. 2017 A Tall Tale; 16 min., Forum Expanded 2017 2018 Regarde par ici,... (Und dort die Puschkinallee); 25 min. 2019 Insolite; 12 min. · L’Étoile de Mer (The Starfish); 12 min. 2020 Voices and Shells

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2022