Une Histoire Provisoire Soul of a Beast


completed / Documentary

Gertrud Woker, one of the first female professors in Europe, was an early feminist and pacifist, advocating for women’s rights and against war. Yet her story was never included in historical accounts, despite the fact that she challenged the societal conventions of the day to oppose gender discrimination and immoral war practices. She was – as she continues to be today – a true inspiration for self-determined women.

As early as 1917, Gertrud Woker was vocal about her demands for women’s rights. As one of the first female science professors in Europe, she advocated “Equal pay for equal work.” But she was also a staunch pacifist, criticizing the use of poisonous gases in the war effort, based on her research as a scientist. Despite opposition from the militaristic and political elite of the day, she fought relentlessly for peace and against the misuse of science. She was ultimately declared insane and spent her last years in a psychiatric hospital. She disappeared from history – either accidentally or deliberately – but definitely unjustly.
The documentary, THE PACIFIST, narrates the life and achievements of this fascinating woman through a rich collage of artistic forms, including animation. Using diary entries, scientific reports and poems by Gertrud Woker herself, the film is all the more poignant for its intimacy and honesty. THE PACIFIST is biographical, but also a documentation of contemporary events, illuminated by the perspective of a courageous woman who would not be silenced during her lifetime.

Duration 80 min. (cinema), 52 min. (TV)
Genre Documentary
Languages German
Production Milan Film
Coproduction SRF Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen, 3sat
Producer Cyrill Gerber, Caroline Meier
Screenplay and Director Fabian Chiquet & Matthias Affolter
Release 2021 MORE...