In central Switzerland’s Muota Valley, an old tradition is still alive. In this modern age of satellite pictures and computer-generated predictions, the spry old men who live in the mountains above Schwyz are famous for predicting the weather using the ancient signs of animal behavior, plant growth, winds and clouds. Twice a year, a competition is held in which these weather gazers tell elaborate, poetic and humorous predictions for the coming six months, and are judged by both the accuracy of their forecast and the flourishes in their prose. These tough farmers are delightful and engaging with their local dialect, sharing their view from their homes perched high up in the grassy meadows. Although modernization threatens their traditional way of life, they scoff at the idea of global warming, since everyone knows that 300 years ago there were several particularly warm winters, and no one had cars back then. Just check the records at the local church. In Swiss German with English subtitles. Written and directed by Thomas Horat.

Weather Gazers

2010 CH 98 min
Festival Year: 2012
Types: Documentary
Topic: Climate Change, Energy & Resources, Global Perspectives, Sustainable Living