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Thursday, May 26, 2022

“The Case You”: Realized

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A Swiss director is making a documentary about his castings. The participants defend themselves and make their own film: it is about abuse.

Several actresses allege they were yelled at, touched and harassed during a Swiss director’s casting call. © Lenn Lambster

When Isabelle Bertges attends the casting that will change her life, she has just dropped out of acting studies. She therefore needs a job, she talks about various roles. On June 27, 2015, Bertges took the train from Bochum to Ludwigsburg. She wants to audition for a film by a 67-year-old Swiss director.

On this day, the 18-year-old experiences a casting that she has never experienced in her young life as an actress. Isabelle Bertges says that she saw on set how people auditioning were beaten and grabbed between the legs and breasts. “The casting team forced several women to undress, yelled at them and harassed them.” She herself was also moved during her audition, she says in an interview with ZEIT ONLINE. An actress employed by the production company touched his chest and crotch. All this happened without prior agreement. She resisted, but the woman continued anyway. She finished the scene anyway. She then she left. She was offered the opportunity to audition for a second role. “But I had enough,” Bertges says today, “I just wanted to get away from there.”

Director Alison Kuhn made a movie about this casting. the case of you it won the German Documentary Film Award in the Culture category in 2021 and can now be seen in theaters. Isabelle Bertges and four other women work on how they experienced casting at the time. All five actresses auditioned for the same film by the same director in 2015. Director Alison Kuhn also participated as an actress in one of the auditions in 2015.

ZEIT ONLINE has asked the casting director for a statement. Neither he nor his producer responded to this request. Nor has he commented on the accusations to other media. For the protagonists of this text, a condition for their statements to ZEIT ONLINE was that the man’s name should not be mentioned in this text, as they fear that this could have an impact on a case currently pending against him. Also in the case of you his name is never mentioned.

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