During the month of September, Filmatique presents four films originating in Norway— an oft-underlooked region of Scandinavia that yet retains a strong culture of cinema.
These are four stories of women. Norwegian screenwriter and frequent Joachim Trier collaborator Eskil Vogt's feature film debut Blind examines the texture of objective reality through the eyes of a woman who's recently lost her vision, while Rune Denstad Langlo's Chasing the Wind chronicles one woman's turbulent return to her hometown following the death of a family member. Dag Johan Haugerud's portmanteau I Belong subtly deconstructs the notion of Norway's rational, polite society from the vantage points of three female characters; Aasne Vaa Greibrokk's All the Beauty portrays one woman's reckoning with a failed marriage that yet draws her back.
Comprised of three feature film debuts and one second feature, Filmatique's Norwegian Women Series expounds on common themes— literature, love, the slipperiness of communication and vulnerabilities intrinsic to any human relationship. These four films, while disparate in character and circumstance, propose a mosaic of contemporary female existence in Scandinavia.
Blind, Eskil Vogt / Norway, 2014
Ingrid is a writer who has recently lost her vision. In the face of this trauma she retreats to the safety of her home and her husband Morten's company. Yet while Morten is away at work, Ingrid's thoughts loom large; she believes he comes home to spy on her. Ingrid's imagination blossoms. Morten soon becomes a character in one of her stories, impossible to discern from fiction.
Norwegian screenwriter Eskil Vogt's feature film debut Blind is a stylish, probing meditation on the blurred lines between objective and subjective worlds and the creative process itself. Blind premiered at CPH:PIX, Berlin; Sundance, where it won Best Screenplay; and Istanbul, where it won Best Film.
I Belong, Dag Johan Haugerud / Norway, 2012
When nervous at work, a nurse switches over to speaking English. A translator agrees to work on a novel even though she doesn't believe in it. When offered a large sum of money from a relative, an elderly woman must hide her humiliation. Though ostensibly insignificant, these scenarios result in disputes, loss of integrity and miscommunication despite the best of intentions.
Featuring an all-female principal cast, Norwegian society's hyper-rational demeanor undergoes deconstruction in documentary filmmaker Dag Johan Haugerud's debut feature. I Belong premiered at Göteborg, Vancouver, Palm Springs and Trondheim, where it won Best Director; and won Best Film, Actress, Direction and Screenplay at Norway's equivalent of the Oscars, the Amanda Awards.
Chasing the Wind, Rune Denstad Langlo / Norway, 2013
Following the death of her grandmother, Anna returns home after spending a decade away. In all these years she hasn't seen her family. None of the funeral preparations go as planned and over the course of the week old family tensions rise to the surface. When faced with those she left behind, Anna is ultimately forced to reconsider the way she lives her life.
Chasing the Wind is a naturalistic portrait of a woman forced to confront the consequences of her life decisions. Norwegian filmmaker Rune Denstad Langlo's second feature premiered at Göteborg, Zurich, Minsk; Trondheim, where it won Best Actress; and Arras, where it won the Critics' Award.
All the Beauty, Aasne Vaa Greibrokk / Norway, 2016
Sarah arrives at her ex-husband's summer cabin a full ten years after their separation. David has asked her to help him with a play he's writing, but Sarah quickly realizes the subject is their own failed relationship. Paradoxes of love, humor, affection and the desire for independence define their reunion as dramaturgy becomes a form of catharsis.
Aasne Vaa Greibrokk's feature film debut explores individual foibles and the imperfect texture of human relationships through the lens of one woman's journey into her past. All the Beauty premiered at Hamptons, Kiev and Reykjavik, where it competed in the New Visions Grand Prix Competition.