100. Geburtstag


The events celebrating the centenary of Henry Brandt’s birth (1921-1998) aim at introducing a wider audience to the work of this major figure of Swiss cinema, as well as his still largely unknown photographic work.

From the 1950s to the 1980s, Henry Brandt managed to grasp the major challenges Swiss society faced during his lifetime: education, an aging population, pollution, xenophobia, the consumer society and the dividebetween rich and poor countries. All these themes remain particularly relevant today.

A major exhibition at the Musée d’art et d’histoire, Neuchâtel (14.11-29-5.2022), a retrospective of his restored films at the Cinémathèque suisse (17.11- 31.12.2021), a reference book, a collector's DVD box set and a series of events throughout Switzerland highlighting the diversity of his work.

The exhibition Mirages de l’objectif : Henry Brandt et l’invention des Nomades du soleil (Mirages of the Objective: Henry Brandt and the Invention of the Nomads of the Sun), which opened in May in the grounds of the Musée d’ethnographie in Neuchâtel, is a foretaste of the events planned for this centenary.




For the first time, this book explores Henry Brandt’s multifaceted work, carried out between the 1950s and the 1980s through documentary films, photo reports, illustrated books and television programmes. The book retraces his work with different media, examines his way of combining commissioned work and criticism of contemporary society, and questions his constant desire to address both local and distant issues, and observe both the local context and the situation worldwide. This superbly illustrated book brings together articles by historians of cinema, photography and ethnography.

Pierre-Emmanuel Jaques and Olivier Lugon (dir.), Henry Brandt, cinéaste et photographe, Zürich: Scheidegger & Spiess, 2021, 350 pages.With contributions from Christophe Brandt, Faye Corthésy, Roland Cosandey, Chantal Lafontant Vallotton, Frédéric Maire, Caroline Fournier and Nicolas Ricordel, Pierre-Emmanuel Jaques, Aude Joseph, Olivier Lugon, Grégoire Mayor, et al. Price: 49 CHF




Published to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of filmmaker and photographer Henry Brandt (1921-1998), this DVD box set brings together no less than 16 films, reports and TV extracts, digitized and lovingly restored by the Cinémathèque suisse, RTS and DAV. This is the opportunity to (re)discover the work of a major Swiss filmmaker, who was travelling the globe extensively while being deeply rooted in Switzerland.

Henry Brandt, cinéaste et photographe , a 4 DVD box set accompanied by a 32-page booklet published by the Cinémathèque suisse and the Musée d'art et d'histoire in Neuchâtel (MahN. Text: Section d’histoire et esthétique du cinéma de l’Université de Lausanne. Price: 39 CHF



Initiated in 2018, the Henry Brandt centenary event is based on a multidisciplinary approach and a partnership between the Musée d’art et d’histoire de Neuchâtel (MahN), the Cinémathèque suisse, the Film history and aesthetics department of the University of Lausanne, the audio-visual department of Bibliothèque de la Ville de La Chaux-de-Fonds and the Musée d’ethnographie in Neuchâtel. The project has benefited from the invaluable collaboration of Henry Brandt’s two sons, Christophe and Jérôme.

Professors Olivier Lugon and Pierre-Emmanuel Jaques, with the help of their students, in particular Gabrielle Duboux and Loïc Salomé were in charge of curating the exhibition at MahN and editing the accompanying book.

The restoration, conservation and digitization of the photographic collection were undertaken by the Institut suisse pour la conservation de la photographie (ISCP), with the support of Memoriav, the association for the preservation of the Swiss audio-visual heritage.