The Whisperers

International affairs would hardly be what they are without conference interpreters. Yet little is known about these language artists working in the shadow of the mighty. “The Whisperers” follows six interpreters, belonging to different generations, through the jungle of international communication. From the Chancellery in Berlin to Strasbourg, The Hague and Brussels, from Geneva to Djibouti and into the history of their profession back to the Nuremberg trials.

News

  • 05/2006 - The Whisperers at Institute for Slavic Studies

    Our documentary The Whisperers will be shown under the programme of the Night of Science. The screening takes place at [...]

    Our documentary The Whisperers will be shown under the programme of the Night of Science. The screening takes place at the Institute for  Slavic Studies on 13 May.


  • 06/2008 - The Whisperers at Humbold University in Berlin

    We’ re pleased about the screening of our documentary The Whisperers at the night of science. The film will be [...]

    We' re pleased about the screening of our documentary The Whisperers at the night of science. The film will be shown at the Humboldt University in Berlin on 14 June.



The Whisperers

“The Whisperers” is a documentary on interpreters in the multilingual Europe.
One of the most invisible professions in the hot spots of the globalised world:
They appear in the shadow of the mighty; you can spot them on newsreels because they stand much too close to the VIPs. A word in their ear. The interpreters. They have been around forever or, at least, ever since different languages and cultures have met.
The discretion that goes with their job makes interpreters very inconspicuous people. But behind the cloak of professional neutrality, one can discover a cast of fascinating characters who dedicate themselves to their craft with the utmost passion. Interpreters are highly intelligent and versatile individuals, capable of extreme concentration and knowledgeable in a wide variety of fields. Above all, they have the gift of gab. Language buffs who have dedicated their lives to helping people understand each other in the jumble of cultures throughout Europe and the world.
The film takes place in Strasbourg, Berlin, Geneva, The Hague, Brussels and Djibouti and focuses on six protagonists, each representing a different generation and different fields of the profession. It goes from a student of interpretation in Geneva up to the old lady Patricia Vander Elst, who had her first assignment at the Nuremberg Trials for Nazi war criminals. Nuremberg is regarded as the starting point of simultaneous interpreting – a special technique that is performed by only 5,500 interpreters in the world.
The Whisperers shows some of the most remarkable representatives of this profession as they play their vital role in international development – helping diplomats and VIPs to bridge their cultural boundaries. Interpreters travel the world, speeding from one conference to another. We are taken to the centre of international communications in politics, business and justice, always guided by the charm, quick wit, and internationalism of the protagonists, whose world we explore with curiosity and excitement.

Director: David Bernet & Christian Beetz
Script/Research: David Bernet

Directors of photography: Christian Beetz, François Bovy, Hajo Schomerus, Dominik Van Alst
Sound: Susanne Heinz, Philippe Lamielle, Marcelo Busse

Editing: Valérie Smith
Sounddesign: Volker Zeigermann
Sound Mixing: Michael Molteck
Composer: Jan Tilman Schade
Translation: Ivette Loecker, Katia Hermann

Production Manager: Reinhardt Beetz
Production Assistants: Ivette Loecker, Eva Rink
Production Interns: Almut Queitsch, Ira Lenz, Simone Zeil, Alexandra Weltz
Executive Producer: Christian Beetz
Commissioning Editor: Andrea Ernst

Koproduktion

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Kooperation

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Förderer

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  • The Whisperers

    Kino Hackesche Höfe - Berlin, Germany
    29 August 2005 at 8:00 pm

  • The Whisperers

    Filmfest Osnabrück - Osnabrück, Germany
    07 October 2005 at 5:30 pm

  • The Whisperers

    Institut Finlandais (60, rue des Ecoles) - Paris, France
    12 October 2005 at 8:00 pm

  • The Whisperers

    Université de Genève, Uni Mail, salle R280 (Boulevard du Pont-d´Arve 40) - Genève, France
    14 October 2005 at 7:30 pm

  • The Whisperers

    Dokumentarfilm- und Videofest Kassel - Kassel, Germany
    12 November 2005 at 5:00 pm

  • The Whisperers

    Canva Blue - Solothurn, Switzerland
    18 January 2006 at 12:00 am

  • The Whisperers

    Landhaus - Solothurn, Switzerland
    21 January 2006 at 9:30 am

  • The Whisperers

    HR
    30 April 2006 at 11:45 pm

  • The Whisperers

    Einsfestival
    01 April 2008 at 8:15 pm

  • The Whisperers

    Einsfestival
    03 April 2008 at 3:30 pm

  • The Whisperers

    Einsfestival
    04 April 2008 at 2:00 pm

  • The Whisperers

    Einsfestival
    05 April 2008 at 9:00 am

  • The Whisperers

    Einsfestival
    06 April 2008 at 5:30 am

  • The Whisperers

    Einsfestival
    07 April 2008 at 9:00 am

  • The Whisperers

    Einsfestival
    08 April 2008 at 7:00 am

  • The Whisperers

    ARTE
    26 September 2008 at 3:55 pm

  • The Whisperers

    ARTE
    02 October 2008 at 5:00 am

  • The Whisperers

    SWR
    08 May 2010 at 7:30 am

  • The Whisperers

    SWR
    14 May 2010 at 2:45 pm

  • The Whisperers

    RBB
    18 May 2011 at 11:40 am

  • The Wisperers

    RBB
    18 May 2011 at 11:40 am