D / E
From One Day To The Next
A documentary by Frank Matter, 95 min., Switzerland 2013
Basel Film Award 2013
Nominated for the Prix de Soleure 2013

«From One Day To The Next» tells the touching story of four elderly people who, with humanity and wit, are fighting for dignity, autonomy and a piece of happiness while confronting the slow mental and physical decline of old age.
More and more people live in their own homes until old age. At home, they feel comfortable and certainly more independent than in an institution. «From One Day To The Next» follows four elderly people through their everyday lives, observing how they cope with a gradual loss of autonomy. Even as they become increasingly dependent on outside help they insist on staying at home. But it seems inevitable that sooner or later, even against their will, they will have to move to a nursing home.
As long as the protagonists live at home, their most important contacts to the outside world are the employees of the Visiting Nurse Service. The nurses stop by every day to attend to the basic medical needs of their clients and to help them with washing, cleaning and dressing. But it's not always easy for the nurses to reconcile their human feelings of compassion with the professional, economic and bureaucratic demands of their job.
«From One Day To The Next» tells of everyday rituals, of little quarrels and big fights, of helplessness, melancholy and of all the fond memories that make every life a unique journey. Some of the film's scenes are reminiscent of Samuel Beckett's stage plays. Again and again, the elderly men and women make the audience laugh with their sharp wit and their laconic humor. But sometimes that laughter gets stuck in our throats.
On a more philosophical and existential level, «From One Day To The Next» explores concepts of autonomy, respect and responsibility.
The documentary was shot in the towns of Allschwil and Schönenbuch (BL), in collaboration with the local Visiting Nurse Service.
Production: Frank Matter, soap factory GmbH, Basel
Coproduction: Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen SRF; SRG SSR
Writer, director: Frank Matter
Based on a concept by Peter Aschwanden
Swiss German original version, English, German, French subtitles, DCP. Theatrical version: 95 min.
World sales: soap factory GmbH Basel
Distribution Switzerland: cineworx