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Eileen Hofer
Switzerland, Cuba 2015 / 70’

Classical ballet is the embodiment of harmony stemming from a precision bordering on perfection. The characters in Horizon-the oldest prima ballerina in Cuba, Alica Alonso; a young girl named Amanta on her way to an exam at her ballet school; and Vingsay, currently the best dancer in the country and the embodiment of grace and beauty-are at various stages on their road to perfection. Ballet is an art form that requires murderous training, the apotheosis of a battle with a body that tends toward entropy and that-as the example of venerable prima ballerinas has shown us-will betray us in the end regardless. There is, however, more than just a physical dimension to the eponymous horizons. As seen through Hofer's lens, ballet is a path to spiritual liberation. In their dancing and their imagination, dancers are able to escape a political system that has remained in a form as unchanged as codified ballet movements. The parallels between the dance regime and the political system are striking. They both require submission, obedience, and sacrifice. It is no wonder then that Fidel Castro considered ballet to be the basis of the revolution. The paradox is found in the fact that the achievement of perfection is also an escape.

Ewa Szabłowska


Visions Du Reel 2015 – Special Mention

Eileen Hofer

Born in Zurich in 1976, worked as the PR manager for a film festival before becoming a journalist at Swiss daily paper beginning in 2005. Spent the next two years as the editor-in-chief of a magazine before making her debut with the short film Roots (2008), which was screened at 70 festivals all over the world, as was her full-length film debut, He was a Giant With Brown Eyes (2012).


2008 Roots

2009 Le deuil de la cigogne joyese

2010 Soap Opera In wonderland

2012 He Was a Giant wiith Brown Eyes

2015 Horyzonty / Horizontes / Horizons

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Cast & Crew

director Eileen Hofer
screenplay Eileen Hofer
cinematography Gregory Bindschedler, archival footage
editing Damian Plandolit, Valentin Rotelli
music Julien Painot, Ladislav Agabekov, Heidi Happy
cast Alicia Alonso, Viengsay Valdes, Amanda de Jesus Perez Duarte
producer Aline Schmid, Eileen Hofer
production Intermezzo Films
sales Taskovsky
language Spanish
colouration colour