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GER22 Caged Birds

18+ 118 MIN
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In this intriguing political drama, Barbara “Babs” Hug (Marie Leuenberger, The Divine Order) is a young radical lawyer fighting Switzerland’s antiquated prison system in the 1980s, and finds it to be an endless, draining battle.

She is tracked down by Walter Stürm (Joel Basman, The Monuments Men), who has just managed to escape from prison, again. He hands her a secret file that was not supposed to have left the prison and the two form an unlikely alliance. Although a good-hearted soul at his core, Stürm uses his newfound freedom to commit another crime, and soon finds the police closing in.

Using her connections, Babs finds Stürm temporary refuge and takes him on as a client in hopes of using the publicity to advance her cause. But Stürm has a very different ideology of freedom and proves to be more difficult to manage than Babs realises.

Based on a true story, Caged Birds explores a radical partnership of conflicting priorities between state repression and personal freedom.


WINNER – Best Actress, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival 2020  

WINNER – Best Feature Film, Best Actor, Cinema Prize, Best Cinematography, Don Quijote Award, Avanca Film Festival 2021 

NOMINEE – Best Actress, Best Actor, Swiss Film Prize 2022 


"A closely observed, clever portrait of two outsiders who held up a mirror to society and the authorities of the time."

- Cineman

Movie Information

Release date

Tuesday 24th May


118 min




Jella Haase, Joel Basman, Marie Leuenberger, Anatole Taubman


Oliver Rihs


Film Festival


German and Swiss German with English subtitles

Participating Cinemas

Palace Balwyn Cinema, Palace James Street, Palace Barracks, Palace Norton St, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema Como, Pentridge Cinema, Chauvel Cinema, Palace Electric, Palace Byron Bay, Palace Central Sydney, Kino Cinema, Palace Raine Square