13:00, Tuesday 16th June, Cinema 3

Director/Anthropologist: Tommi Mendel
Year of Release: 2013
Duration: 95 mins
Country of Production: Switzerland
Location: Switzerland, France, Spain, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos
Ethnic Group: Europeans
Language: Swiss, German, English, Spanish, French with English subtitles

Whereas the label of “pilgrim” is still mostly associated with devout persons leaving home for purely religious motives, young people taking to the road as backpackers are generally perceived as pleasure seeking globetrotters. Questioning these stereotypes, anthropologist and filmmaker Tommi Mendel followed one young woman along the Way of St. James through France and Spain and another one along backpacking-routes through Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. Documenting their experiences and encounters over a period of three years, this film reveals intriguing parallels on various levels between what at first glance appear as two different ways of travelling.
Common Roads is Tommi Mendel’s PhD-thesis accepted by the University of Zurich, it was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Return to the 2015 film programme