A film by Luzia Schmid
102 minutes // 52 minutes

A tax haven in Switzerland, a half-hearted fight against tax evaders in Germany, a formerly prosperous African country plunged into the abyss by world market prices for raw materials: although they might appear at first glance to have little in common, these all stand for a global economic system that shapes all of our lives – and the film-maker is right in the thick of it.

The film traces the rise of the small Swiss town of Zug, now a trading centre in the same league as Shanghai, Singapore, London and New York. And tells the story of the townspeople who succeeded in becoming very rich: by systematically reducing taxes, they converted their town into one of the world’s leading tax havens. This daring feat loomed large in the childhood of the Swiss filmmaker, its protagonists – her father (the trustee), her sister (the politician), neighbours and politicians – featuring prominently in her everyday life at the time. Likeable people who enjoyed this venture and benefit from it to this day.

However, success came with its fair share of problems: shady commercial lawyers and commodities dealers turned up in the Swiss idyll. Actively assisted by the town authorities, they plundered Zambia and other countries from their newfound base. The town of Zug came to symbolise the injustices of this world. And a surprising number of Zug residents can live very well with that.

As a first-person narrator, the director traces this skilled repression, seeking out answers about morals and motivation and charting the town’s position in the international tax competition game, where Germany, her adopted country, is also at the head of the pack. The personal economic film about the rise of a Swiss tax haven evolves into a radical and subtle reflection on double standards and collective repression.

Scipt & direction: Luzia Schmid
Editor: Yana Höhnerbach
Director of Photography : Hajo Schomerus
Drone Operator: Andreas Busslinger
Sound: Ralf Weber, Reto Stamm, Matteo Pellegrini

Music / Composer: Pluramon
Sounddesign: Holger Buff
Sound mixer: Tom Blankenberg
Color grading: Dany Schelby
Graphics: Thomas Schmidl
Research archive: Nancy Marcotte, Susann Munns,  Vanessa Christoffers-Trinks
Production accountant: Kerstin Becker
Script Consultant: Christiane Büchner
Accountant: Kerstin Becker
Production manager: Monika Mack
Marta Herrmanns, Sophia Rubischung

Producer D Birgit Schulz
Co-producer CH: Karin Koch
Commissioning editor ZDF/3sat: Udo Bremer
Commissioning editor SRF: Urs Augstburger

Bildersturm Filmproduktion GmbH in co-production with ZDF/3sat /  DSCHOINT VENTSCHR and SRF
subsidized by Film- und Medienstiftung NRW,  Zürcher Filmstiftung, Kanton Zug and Bundesamt für Kultur (EDI), Schweiz  

World Sales: New Docs / Elina Kewitz

© 2020  – ZDF  /  Bildersturm Filmproduktion GmbH / Dschoint Ventschr Filmproduktion AG