Heidi (2015 film)

Heidi is a 2015 Swiss family film directed by Alain Gsponer and based on the novel of the same name by Johanna Spyri. It stars Anuk Steffen in the title role, alongside Bruno Ganz, Katharina Schüttler, Quirin Agrippi, Isabelle Ottmann and Anna Schinz.

Heidi (Hadiya)
Directed byAlain Gsponer
Produced byJakob Claussen
Lukas Hobi
Ulrike Putz
Reto Schärli
Written byPetra Biondina Volpe
Based onHeidi by Johanna Spyri
StarringBruno Ganz
Anuk Steffen
Katharina Schüttler
Quirin Agrippi
Isabelle Ottmann
Anna Schinz
Rebecca Indermaur
Music byNiki Reiser
CinematographyMatthias Fleischer
Distributed byStudioCanal
Release date
  • 10 December 2015 (2015-12-10)
LanguageSwiss German

Plot synopsis

After living for several years with her Aunt Dete (Schinz) young orphan Heidi (Steffen) is brought to live in the mountains with her elderly grandfather Alpöhi (Ganz). Despite being known as a fearsome and hermit like character he soon learns to love Heidi. She quickly makes friends with goatherd Peter (Agrippi), a boy just a little older than her. For the next few years Heidi grows up happy with her grandfather and Peter, although she is sometimes unhappy that she cannot go into the village to school, especially in winter when Peter does not look after the goats.

Some time later Aunt Dete returns and tricks Heidi into running away with her to Frankfurt to become a companion to a young girl Klara (Ottmann) in an upper-class family townhouse. Klara uses a wheelchair and lost her mother at an early age. Although her father loves her he is away on business a lot and she is left with her strict governess Fräulein Rottenmeier (Schüttler). It takes Heidi a very long time to fit into polite society but she forms a bond with Klara and learns to read. In the end though the desire to go back to the open spaces of the mountains becomes too strong for a homesick Heidi and Klara's father returns her to her grandfather, much to Klara's sadness.

Heidi settles back into mountain life with her Grandfather and Peter but writes to Klara a lot. In the end Klara's grandmother allows her to visit Heidi in the mountains. There Heidi and Klara re-connect, initially to the annoyance of Peter who ruins her wheelchair. Without the chair Klara attempts to walk again. Considering her paralysis started after the loss of her mother she likely had a functional neurological disorder; a neurological condition that can be triggered by adverse life events (and also by many other triggers). She then learns to walk before being taken home by her grateful father.

At the end of the film it is shown that Heidi and her grandfather move to the village so Heidi can continue to learn to read and write, so she can achieve her dream of being an author. It is implied that she and Peter remain good friends and that she and Klara see each other on a regular basis.


  • Anuk Steffen as Heidi
  • Bruno Ganz as Grandfather
  • Katharina Schüttler as Rottenmeier, the governess
  • Quirin Agrippi as Peter, Heidi's goatherd mountain friend
  • Isabelle Ottmann as Klara, Heidi's upper class town friend
  • Anna Schinz as Dete, Heidi's aunt
  • Peter Lohmeyer as Sebastian, the kind butler at Klara's house
  • Jella Haase as Tinette, a maid at Klara's house
  • Rebecca Indermaur as Geissenpeterin


The ten year old Steffen was chosen from among five hundred young actresses. The film was shot on location in the Alps, mainly in the region of Grisons, including Bergün and Rheinwald.[1]


The film debuted theatrically in Germany on 10 December 2015.[2]


On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 100% based on 7 reviews, with an average rating of 7.5/10.[3]


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