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Clara and the Secret of the Bears



Switzerland/Germany (93 mins, dir. Tobias Ineichen)

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Clara is a 13-year-old who lives with her mother and stepfather in the Swiss Alps. One day, Clara sights a bear cub near her mountaintop home and is delighted, but the locals from the village are less enthusiastic – they resent the reintroduction of bears into the wild and are suspicious of an old story about a bear-woman who cursed the village. When Clara discovers she can see back through time she witnesses another girl who 200 years before her also had to protect the bears from cruel and ignorant humans.

Part ghost story that stretches across two centuries and part ecological tale about learning to co-exist with nature, Clara and the Secret of the Bears is a magical family drama with a profound message.

GENRE: Drama/fantasy

KEY THEMES: Animal welfare, animal biodiversity, living with nature, how the past affects the present, persecution, standing up for beliefs  

SUITABLE YEAR LEVELS: Middle secondary +

LANGUAGE: German with English subtitles

CURRICULUM LINKS: Languages (German), Civics and Citizenship, The Humanities – Geography


  • Respecting the right for wild animals to live in their natural environment.
  • Learning to co-exist with animals rather than killing or imprisoning them.
  • Recognising the harm of judging and persecuting people who are different.
  • Understanding how learning about the past helps to explain the present.

School Screenings

Thursday 24 July, 1pm at the Forum Theatre

Thursday 7 August, 11am at ACMI Cinemas