Closing Time

  • Nicole Vögele
  • Switzerland, Germany
  • 2018
  • 116 min
  • International Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for First Appearance, Space

At a busy junction under a viaduct in Taipei, a diverse array of entrepreneurs are busy at work in the bleak fluorescent light. There’s a middle-aged couple running a modest snack bar, and bit further along a younger couple are emptying slot machines. In a market hall, scooters navigate their way among the merchandise; two bright red tropical fish in an aquarium exchange kisses.

In her debut film, director Nicole Vögele observes the scenes with great calm, alternating close-ups with wide shots and short conversations with silence to create a hypnotic rhythm. Sometimes it takes a while before you figure out what you’re looking at and how the settings and human subjects relate to one another. In combination with the striking soundtrack, the images of nocturnal Taipei make for an intriguing and playful viewer experience.

Some scenes are downright funny, like the one of the stray dog calmly waiting for the pedestrian light to go green before crossing the road, and the scooter rider having trouble parking. Only at the end do we leave the city, when we accompany the man from the snack bar on his journey into the countryside.


  • 116 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Taiwanese, Chinese
  • Subtitles in: English
Nicole Vögele
Aline Schmid / Beauvoir Films
Film Academy Baden-Wuerttemberg
Stefan Sick
Hannes Bruun

IDFA history

International Premiere
IDFA Competition for First Appearance

Share this film

Print this page

IDFA history

This website uses cookies.

By using cookies we can measure how our site is used, how it can be further improved and to personalize the content of online advertisements.

 here everything about our cookie policy. If you choose to decline, we only place functional and analytical cookies