As Tender as Heidi.


(Film) – Heidi is the little girl from the Swiss Alps who lives with her grandfather and plays with a shepherd boy named Peter. The drama around taking her away from home so that she can be a company to a girl whose mother had died captures you. But she finds people who treat her well and eventually comes back home to her dearest grandpa and her precious mountains. Heidi’s new friends will meet with her again, this time in the Alps, and she will bring back hope to her new friends, a wealthy family who was kind to her.

More importantly, Heidi has made a new friend, Klara who pretends she can’t walk but finds out while up in the Swiss mountains, that she can.

This story has been told so many times and in so many forms that it becomes one more time incredible when a new version captures its beauty and candor.

The new version of Heidi, presented at the 21st Berlin & Beyond Film Festival in San Francisco in early 2017, does it again. It charms you.


In this Swiss film released in December 2015 –and one that is going around in the film festival circuits, director Alain Gsponer presents the old tale in a very real way, full of human expression and landscape splendor. Young actress Anuk Steffen does a magnificent job as Heidi; she is believable, touching, impressionable. It is said that she was chosen amongst hundreds of young girls. Prominent actor Bruno Ganz gives an outstanding performance, and so the supporting actors.


From the musical drama film with Shirley Temple in 1937, to the Japanese animated TV series translated into several languages and viewed around the globe in the 1970’s to this new film by Gsponer, all the versions of Heidi are based on a novel published in 1881 by Swiss author Johanna Spyri.

All the versions, including this last one where Heidi is played by Anuk Steffen will warm your heart, make you cry and make you smile. I just saw it for the first time, and I am left with a sweet feeling and a sense of spirit that only the combination of good filmmaking and a great story can achieve. It also helps that I saw Heidi many times when I was little, in the form of an animated TV series in Japanese but with Spanish voice-overs: Heidi, Pedro, Clara, and El Abuelito.  As tender and sweet as the mountains, the wildflowers, and the peace that comes from living close to nature and being good in nature.

Find Heidi, the 2015 film and Swiss production,  online at IMDb (English), and also check the film festivals. The animated series can be found in Youtube in several languages.

Content by Lupita Peimbert. @Lupitanews

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