Irina, a Russian call girl who ends up in a fairy tale land in the Alps, falls completely under its spell. She increasingly has dealings with a clientele from the worlds of business, politics, the military and the media, trusting her affairs to a shyster lawyer and his woman friend. In faraway Russia a family clan keenly follows her social climb. Pressed into service as an informer, Irina finds herself completely lost in what for her remains an impenetrable labyrinth of interest groups. Finding herself blackmailed she is left with no choice but to spy on her clients, uncovering a number of unsavoury anecdotes. Threatened with expulsion and acting on a misunderstanding and totally unaware of the consequences of what she is about to undertake, Irina sets in motion a plan to overthrow the government – a plan concocted many years earlier by an obscure political organisation: the Beresina Alarm. The fate of the heroine, and indeed of the whole country, begins to take an unexpected turn. —Cannes Film Festival
Daniel Schmid (1941-2006) was a Swiss film and theatre director. In 1992, at his 51 years of age, he created Hors saison, a film that is sort of the key to his oeuvre and his life.
Unlike many other filmmakers of his generation who, following the spirit of the ’60s and the New Swiss Film movement, were not averse to being regarded as socially and politically committed cultural professionals, Schmid considered himself, first and foremost, an artist. In the truest sense of the word, that which defines the artist as a master of a craft out of which something genuinely new, artificial as well as artistic, is created. For Daniel Schmid, what we call reality is the raw material from which he shaped new worlds and realities. –BAFICI