A film about the demise of Swissair, the national flag carrier, becomes a box
office hit. Grounding the Last Days of Swissair, with dialogue in
Swiss-German, has been packing in audiences across the country.
One over-excited reviewer described the film as ‘a gripping juggling of fact
and fiction’ that mixes contemporary television coverage and interviews with
bankers and politicians with a fictional drama about two families affected by
I’m dozing off already. But with an audience of more than 140,000 in its
first two weeks, there must be something in it. Or perhaps the Swiss have
nothing better to do.
To my mind, it’s rather like making a film about the Railtrack debacle.
Imagine the cast. Ernst & Young’s Alan Bloom as the unflappable numbers man
at the eye of a debt-laden storm.
Stephen Byers as the lying (sorry, untruth-telling) MP who becomes the voodoo
doll of choice for millions of rail commuters. And Geoff Weir, the Railtrack
pensioner who battled in vain for compensation for small shareholders.
Trains, planes, what’s the difference? If the Swiss can turn a corporate
collapse into a hit, anything is possible.
I’ve always thought that British Airways would make a good subject for a
film. You’d have the late Lord King of Wartnaby owning up to a ‘dirty tricks’
campaign against Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic.
And who can forget former chief executive Bob Ayling with his scheme to paint
BA’s tailfins in garish world colours?
Ayling, incidentally, is being tipped as the new chairman at Sanctuary, the
struggling music group. The scriptwriters couldn’t make it up.
Jon Ashworth is a freelance journalist
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