The strangeness and oriental fascination of North Africa have often served as an attractive backdrop for tales of unbridled passion and unpredictable actions. In Hécate the rituals of life are framed by the Arab-European world of colonial North Africa. Set in Morocco, this film looks back at one man’s passion for an enigmatic woman, who seems to move further and further from him although she submits to his physical caresses. When Julien Rochelle meets Clothilde at a reception, she is waiting for her husband, a French officer, to return from a mission to Siberia. Their liaison, initially no more than a way of passing the time, an antidote to boredom, soon becomes a passionate affair that makes Julien dependent and ill and eventually drives him to the verge of madness. As film critic Martin Schlappner put it, “a story of physical passion from which love is absent.” –BAFICI
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