On September 4th 1963, a Swissair Caravelle flight catches fires and disintegrates shortly after taking off from Kloten airport. In the rubble, the emergency services team find the wallet of a certain Reynold Thiel, businessman, fashion designer, virtuoso pianist and composer. While this Neuchâtel-local is unknown to the general public, he is well known by the Federal Council. Over the years the political police gathered a large volume of information on Mr. Thiel, whose file circulates between the members of government….
Because, he is a communist? He denies this however in the mid-1930s when the federal authorities question him. If the bloodhounds have trouble tracking him, it’s because they are unaware of what’s unfolding in Spain with the International Brigades, in France with the Resistance during the Nazi occupation and with the secret underground groups in Morvan. When the police find Thiel after the war, he has become a businessman, travelling to Moscow, Peking, Bucharest…
What are they looking for? What is his secret?
Danielle Jaeggi’s film brings us through a hushed period of Swiss history, between fascist uprisings, World War and the Cold War. The director has a very personal reason for delving deep into Raynold Thiel’s life, as her father was both his friend and collaborator.