Newly Swissed Online Magazine

The Foster Boy (Review)

The Foster Boy (2011)


This captivating drama by Markus Imboden sheds light on a dark chapter in Swiss history. For generations, some 100'000 orphans and children of single mothers were placed on farms for cheap labor.

This practice continued until after WWII. Today, many survivors are fighting for recognition from the Swiss government, and "The Foster Boy" is the story of their collective memories.


The Foster Boy (2011)The biggest dream for orphan Max was to be part of a "real" family. And before he knows it, his dream seems to become true as he is adopted by a Bernese farmer family.

Instead of receiving affection from his foster parents, Max turns into the object of humiliation. His dream quickly turns into a nightmare, but nobody can take away his beloved accordion...


There is no doubt that the story of a foster boy with no rights of his own could have been turned into a heart wrenching drama. However, despite the gravity of the subject manner, director Markus Imboden successfully infused some elements of entertainment which help viewers deal with the helpless situation of Max.


Many potentially controversial subjects were touched only at the surface, such as the role of the church or the involvement of the Swiss government in the foster system. Thanks to the beautiful tunes of the accordion, a sort of acoustic happy end was made possible.

Now available on DVD and Blu-ray

Mohan Mani

As the chief film-critic of a Swiss newspaper, Mohan is our expert on movies! He makes a living out of his hobby and shares his opinion here and on his Twitter feed @cine_mani...

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Mohan Mani

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