Order the film on DVD

  • with Booklet and Background-Informations
  • 12-min Bonusfilm
    Das Leben NACH dem Tod / Deleted Scenes.
  • Subtitles: German, French, English, Italian


Godi and Armin, two retired Swiss Germans, live in an abandoned village in Ticino. Despite of all their differences, the both become neighbouring friends. Godi renovates dilapidated buildings and does handicraft in experimental art. Armin lives by himself in a big villa and announces that he’ll end his life with 70 years of age. Godi struggles with Armin’s decision: Is one aloud to just die, without any reason?

Godi’s son Gregor tries to mediate, interposes and documents the stirring discussion.



Dear Gregor

Yesterday I’ve filmed my neighbour, the only „Zücchin“ living up here. That’s how the locals call us Swiss Germans. The neighbour has spoken about going with 70, but he isn’t sick.

This story gets under my skin. Can we phone today or tomorrow?

Stay well.



Born 1951.

He doesn’t mind renovating houses during long periods of time, where others, only by taking a look, get overcome by despair. What counts is the perspective, the moment where time, space and leisure meld together. Yes, Godi’s an optimist.

Goffredo has settled down in Cumiasca a long time ago. Before that time he was a weekend and holiday resident. Here, in the south of Ticino, he returns to the roots of his family. In Cumiasca he’s been renovating a house for over 10 years. A few years later he had to move into another house in need of renovation.

Goffredo likes to film birds, alpacas, mice, cats, growing plants, the moon, lightning and his neighbour.

His optimism and ability to see the good in everything probably contributes to his youthful fresh appearance and to his incredible drive. Goffredo’s way of life represents the one of a generation who’s got the urge to act and change things but then gets caught up by existential restraints. Now, where he has his occupation as an arts and craft teacher behind himself, he can finally dedicate his time to his dreams.


Born 1946.

“Privatier” is what’s written on his business card. Armin is a hobby distiller, former silk dealer and choir director. He adorns his spirits with seducing art nouveau pictures of erotic femininity.

The former psychologist spent most of his life in Zurich and left his occupation with 60 years of age. He wrote several non-fiction books and psychologically assessed hundreds of senior staff members. Armin is married for the second time and childless. But he actually lives as a single. Eighteen years ago he bought a big villa with generous surrounding as a retirement home for his wife and himself. But the plan of the shared home failed. Since then they both live separate lives in 200 meters of each other distant houses. Their couple status is only serving legal matters.

Armin’s open regarding his affiliation to EXIT. Eight years ago his mother has chosen to die with the help of EXIT with more than 90 years of age. Armin will choose to end his life in a similar way. But for getting terminal care with EXIT he’s missing out on arguments: His health condition aren’t striking. His decision to die early is a preventive one.

Director’s Statement

"70 is enough!”, Armin Gloor says and takes his life into his own hands. This plausible but at the same time strange attitude raises questions, which affect us all. We think we don’t determine our date of death, but that’s a fallacy. Delaying natural death with help of modern medicine isn’t natural.

Armin’s plan and putting it into action is one driving force behind this film, the other one regards the relationship between father and son: between me, the producer of the film and Godi, who agonizes with Armin’s decision. I’m searching for my father and find him through discussions about his neighbour and death.

The conscious play with different perspectives enriches THE LIFE BEFORE DEATH and adds a reflexive dimension to it.

Gregor Frei



Klaus Gesing

 Kapelle Treibsand

 Marco Zappa



Peter Jecklin



Kaspar Flückiger



Kobi Stoller



Laurent Kempf

Written and directed by

Gregor Frei


Filmed by

Goffredo Frei

 Simon Guy Fässler

 Aladin Hasic


Edited by

Stephan Heiniger

Katharina Bhend



Gregor Frei

 Stephan Heiniger



Marco Viale

Rico Andriolo


Produced by

hiddenframe GmbH

Gregor Frei


Co-produced by


Romana Lanfranconi



Urs Augstburger


With the support of

Berner Filmförderung




Burgergemeinde Bern

Stadt Langenthal

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Produktion und Regie

Gregor Frei
Sandrain 3
CH-3007 Bern
Tel. +41 33 533 33 55


Romana Lanfranconi
Maihofstrasse 101
CH-6006 Luzern
Tel. +41 41 420 43 60


Thomas Horat
Rickenbachstrasse 60
Postfach 226
CH-6431 Schwyz
Tel. +41 820 02 72

Thomas Horat
Rickenbachstrasse 60
Postfach 226
CH-6431 Schwyz
Tel. +41 820 02 72