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Wolkenbruch – a successful Swiss comedy among the Jewish minority

The Best Swiss comedy 2018 about an orthodox Jew falling in love with a "Schickse"
Wolkenbruch - a successful Swiss  comedy

When Paul was a boy his parents often drove via Zurich to Bern. The quickest way coming from the South passed through the so called Kreis 3. Especially on Saturdays this calm and seemingly boring part of Zurich turned into a different place. Bearded men with long black coats and big hats were walking around. – Who are they? – Paul asked his parents. – They are going to their church service – explained his mother. – Church, on Saturday? – Paul wondered. 

Swiss film about the orthodox minority in Zurich, Switzerland
Wolkenbruch - best Swiss film 2018
Almost forty years later, during our visit to Switzerland, the biggest cinema hit is called “Wolkenbruch”. The film staged exactly in this part of the city is a love story. A young orthodox Jew, Motti (Mordechai), feels attracted by his fellow student Laura, while his energetic and dominant mother tries her matchmaking skills within the Jewish community. After many fruitless attempts, upon a Rabbi suggestion, Motti’s parents send him to Israel. 

Wiedikon - orthodox Jewish district in Zurich
Wiedikon Railway Station, Zurich, Switzerland

The visit to the Holy Land brings however different results as expected… The excellently scripted story with interesting characters  and funny heroes turns out a comedy deeply rooted in Kreis 3. 

Orthodox Jews in Wiedikon, Zurich, Switzerland
Orthodox Jews in Wiedikon, Zurich, Switzerland

Visiting this part of Zurich after a joyful cinema session with Wolkenbruch we notice the Jewish locals answering our questions for directions using exactly the same Yiddish dialect as spoken in the film. We find the Hotel where Motti flees from his mother’s pressure and rethinks his identity; we walk through the same streets as our now favorite film hero. 

Orthodox Jews in Zurich-Wiedikon
Orthodox Jews in Zurich-Wiedikon
At the end of our Kreis 3 stroll we drop  into the well sorted super market Kosher City. This one is neither in the film nor was it there 40 years ago. At least in Paul’s memory. 

Orthodox Jews in Zurich-Wiedikon, Jewish supermarket Kosher City in Zurich, Switzerland
Kosher City in Zurich, Switzerland

Maria & Paul

* This film is based on a Swiss novel from 2012 by Thomas Meyer -


Director – Michael Steiner
Writer – Thomas Meyer


Motti- Joel Basman
Laura - Noémie Schmidt
Mame  - Inge Maux
Tate – Udo Samel


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