I discovered the story of my grandmother's childhood when I was 16 years old. On the basis of a school assignment about life in Switzerland 50 years ago, I questioned my grandmother. I wasn't prepared for the stories she would tell me. Since she was born, Hanna, my grandmother, was a contract child (Verdingkind). She grew up in the Emmental in Bern in the 1950s. Several times she has been pushed from family to family and has already been used by them as a 10-year-olds forced to do the hardest work. The abuse was not limited to harassment, but soon turned into sexual assault and rape. She is severely traumatized by these experiences. The question of assistance, such as psychiatric care for coping with trauma, is rejected by her; "There was never anything like it before," she replies. The older I get the more similarities in behaviour to my grandma I recognise in myself. Has my grandmother's trauma been passed on to me through the generations?

Title Es Härzeli Wienes Vögeli (A Heart Like A Bird)
Director Julia Anna Luna Hostettler
Genre Documentary Film Social Issue Experimental Film Historical
Release Date 29.11.2021
  • Switzerland
Length 12 Minutes
Spoken Language
  • German
  • English
  • German
Color Format
  • Color



Julia Anna Luna Hostettler
Julia Hostettler
Sound Design
Annaka Minsch
Julia Anna Luna Hostettler
Cast / Audiovisual Media
Aleksandra Sucur



Cast / Audiovisual Media (ZHdK)
Pfingstweidstrasse 96, 8006 Zürich, Switzerland
Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (ZHdK)
Pfingstweidstrasse 96, Postfach CH-8031, Zürich
+41 43 446 46 46


Julia Anna Luna Hostettler

  • Artist
Julia Hostettler graduated with a BA in Design from the program Cast/Audiovisual Media at Zurich University of the Arts in 2021. Before that, she studied at the School of Arts Basel (SFG Basel). She also took classes in film and transmedia from Via University Denmark.


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