Retrospektive Mexiko Artwork

Space Tourists

Documentary / Switzerland / 2009 / 98 min / Color
Dirección, producción, edición: Christian Frei / Fotografía: Peter Indergand

Sometimes we want to leave this planet, and be in the outer space. Millionaire Iranian-American woman Anousheh Ansari was able to fulfill her childhood dream and became the first female tourist in space. This story follows her journey and shows everyday life at the International Space Station.


Oscar-nominated and Sundance winning Swiss director-producer Christian Frei is known for creating documentaries about different walks of life. His topics cover lovesickness in New York, extinct mammoth hunting in Siberia, the Taliban’s destruction of the largest Buddha statue, war photographer James Nachtwey, space tourism and more. Through investigating humanity’s ways of life in the extremes, Frei uncovers profound faces and forces of human nature.
Born in 1959 in Schönenwerd, Switzerland, Christian Frei studied television at the Department of Journalism and Communications of the University of Fribourg. In 1981, he directed his first documentary short film. From the very start of his career, he established a reputation as an exacting documentarist, with a perfect grasp of his subjects. His films are considered to be humanistic and universal, as much as subtle and insistent. In 1997, he presented his first feature-length documentary Ricardo, Miriam y Fidel. War Photographer marks a turning point in his career as director in 2001. The Oscar nomination for Best Documentary and numerous prizes worldwide led to his international breakthrough. He spent two years accompanying war photographer James Nachtwey to different war zones around the world. With The Giant Buddhas, Frei once again deals with a subject of strong political and global interest: The film revolves around the destruction of the two giant Buddha statues in Afghanistan’s remote Bamiyan Valley. At the Sundance Film Festival in 2010 Christian Frei won the World Cinema Directing Award for Space Tourists. Critics acclaimed this film for its breathtaking imagery and richness of insights, having strengthened Frei’s reputation as one of today’s most original and innovative directors. Since 2006, Christian Frei has been an associate lecturer on Reflection Competence at the renowned University of St. Gallen. Since August 2010 he is president of the Swiss Film Academy.

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