Vacuum celebrated its World Premiere in competition at the 21st Tallinn Black Night Festival, A-Festival Estland and won the Best Actress Award for Barbara Auer


2017 / DCP / 85min / Switzerland / Germany

Dschoint Ventschr Filmproduction



Amidst the preparations for her 35th wedding anniversary, Meredith is surprised by the discovery that she is HIV-positive. Only her husband André comes into question as the carrier. Shaken, she finds out that he has been unfaithful to her with prostitutes. She confronts André with the diagnosis and throws him out of the house. Meredith, however, who has always built her life entirely around caring for her family, can hardly bear being alone. Following an intense fight, she finally consents to André's return. He in the meantime knows that he is also HIV-positive. They decide to deal with the condemnations and the illness together. The closer the anniversary celebration looms, the more fragile this marriage to be celebrated appears to be. The deep connection they once had with one another only flashes through in rare moments. Brave, enraged and hopeful, Meredith senses that there can only be a future together when she can forgive André unconditionally. But how much injury can love withstand?



Barbara Auer, Robert Hunger-Bühler, Dr. André Seidenberg, Anna-Katharina Müller, Oriana Schrage, Jirka Zett   




DIRECTOR Christine Repond   

AUTHORS Christine Repond, Silvia Wolkan   

PRODUCER Karin Koch  

CO-PRODUCERS: Schweizer Fernsehen, Teleclub, Walker & Worm Film, Munich   


EDITOR Ulrike Tortora 



COSTUME DESIGN Monika Schmid   

MAKE UP Thomas Nellen   


SOUND DESIGN Maurizius Staerkle-Drux

SOUND MIX: Björn Wiese






Best Actress, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (Official Selection)

Special Award of the Academy, Swiss Film Award

Best Screenplay (Nomination), Swiss Film Award

Best Actress, Neisse Filmfestival

Special Mention of the Jury, Cinema Jove Valencia





Tallinn Black Nigth Festival, A-Festival Estland, Competition

Göteborg International Film Festival

Filmfestival Max Ophüls Preis Saarbrücken, Competition

Solothurner Filmtage, Competition

Cinema Svizzero a Venezia

Bejing International Film Festival, Competition

Filmkunstfest Schwerin, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Competition

Seoul international Women`s Film Festival, Competition

Valencia International Film Festival Cinema Jove, Competition

Festival Augenblick, Strasbourg

Ahrenshooper Filmnächte, Competition

Braunschweig IFF

Saas-Fee Filmfestival, Competition

Neiße Filmfestival, Competition

Festival des deutschsprachigen Filmes KINO

Cinalfama Lisbon International Film Awards

Festival de cine hecho por mujeres, Madrid





Repond's somber psychodrama is a compelling piece of work, with a chilly candor and forensic eye for detail that recall Euro-gloom maestro Michael Haneke.

The camera loves Auer`s face, and it is her wounded intensity that gives this story its nervy, compulsive energy. As a symphony of anguish plays softly behind her Ingrid Bergman-esque composure, she wordlessly conveys an aura of uncertainty about the future that lingers long after the story concludes on a suitably downbeat, disquieting note.

Stephen Dalton, Hollywood Reporter



Christine Repond is back with an intimate drama starring the fantastic Barbara Auer... Thus the director brings the camera right up to her characters and moves it around in search of the emotion conveyed by the actors’ faces and bodies, but without ever falling into the trap of voyeurism, sentimentality or awkwardness. In fact, the film’s greatest asset is that its commitment to honesty and authenticity .... as if they were a completely natural way of universalising a domestic story.

Gonzalo Suárez, Cineuropa



Christine Repond demonstrates her delicate sense for the highs and lows of intense emotions. Barbara Auer and Robert Hunger-Bühler are the most outstanding actors of their generation - and the setting lets them explore the nuances of a couple amidst an emotional shipwreck profoundly, vividly.

The rich inner space of upheaval is given perfect exposure in calm imagery by Aline Laszlo, purposefully serving the story without any unnecessary effects... This film makes the most of its truly bourgeois backdrop, leaving no stone unturned in its close examination of a well-off-relationship. 

Christoph Gröner, Tallinn Black Nights Filmfestival