Scrabble (Switzerland , 0:11:00)

Directed by: Cristian Sulser

Relationships are peculiar. On the one hand, we all pursue The One – the only person who, once found, seems to fulfil us. , , But what happens after years, when love becomes routine, our interest wanes and boredom sets in? The traditional relationship, the fear of something new, demands we turn a blind eye to this aspect of what relationships become. Theo and Barbara, an old married couple, are stuck in this rut, they have nothing more to say to each other. Day after day in his allotment shed, Theo can no longer suppress his anger and self-loathing. Why can’t he just do something to change this depressing situation? , , Symbolic for the autumn of life, “SCRABBLE” is set in a colourless allotment where a relationship slowly wilts in a close and intimate space. Week after week, Barbara sets up the game of Scrabble in front of Theo. Wordlessly, endlessly trapped in the same pattern, the martyrdom begins again. While the routine keeps Barbara alive, Theo suffers through the once exciting game, not accepting as Barbara has what their lives have become. She lays her first tiles. Silence! One mere word gives vent to Theo’s passive aggression: Death!, , The game runs its usual course and yet is still a battle of wills. Theo wants to shock Barbara, but she knows her husband’s antics and concentrates on winning – until an idea comes to Theo. Is it conceivable that the game has more power than expected? Can fate be tempted – or even controlled? Why does a bee fly in front of Theo’s face just as he lay exactly that word on the board? Is there a deeper meaning to the tiles that spell the word “shovel” – with which Theo could strike his Barbara? A fantasy? Or can I – here and now – really control fate? , , “SCRABBLE” projects the horror of a loveless relationship onto an innocent board game. With delicate facial expressions and diffident reserve, the story plays out almost wordlessly. The ambient noise and haunting melody of a single cello build the tension. Colourless images of the wilting nature symbolize impending death. The story plays with suppressed feelings of hate which arise from a meaningless being. This silent thriller ends with a cynical twist – unexpected but not dissonant with the theme of human abyss.