by Jela Hasler

Next Step 2023


Feature Film

27-year-old idealistic Anna has just completed her postgraduate degree, and kicks off her professional career in the Urban Greening office of the city of Zurich. There, she meets 55-year-old Granit, who is no stranger to physical labour around trees. While he perceives Anna as yet another academic there to implement change that is bound to fail, the young woman is goodwill and keen. Two ideologies that will need to understand and learn to live with one another. 

Unlike On Solid Ground, where the lead character had to face the city as a hostile environment, To Put out One Fire focuses on Anna, as she tries to assert herself by taking charge of urban planning.
The director makes use of her experience as a documentarian and her keen sense of analytical observation of reality to tackle social-political strifes with wit. Anna’s clumsy endeavours to reach harmony offers a wide range of absurd and comical situations, which naturally call to mind Toni Erdmann. In a balancing act between straight-face and humour, Jela Hasler manages to tackle serious issues such as social classes, education and misogyny in a way that is both funny and approachable.