Part mythic fantasy, part batshit take on the vicissitudes of grief, Valdimar Jóhannsson’s Cannes-winning feature is set to be one of the year’s most-talked about films.
Hrönn Kristinsdóttir, Sara Nassim, Piodor Gustafsson, Erik Rydell, Klaudia Śmieja-Rostworowska, Jan Naszewski
Sjón, Valdimar Jóhannsson
Noomi Rapace, Hilmir Snær Guðnason, Björn Hlynur Haraldsson
Iceland-Sweden-Poland 2021. 106min
With English subtitles
María and Ingvar get along well enough on their remote Icelandic sheep farm, but the couple are haunted by an unspoken, ever-present sadness. The birth of a mysterious, but seemingly miraculous ‘gift’ from one of their ewes sees the couple greedily snatch at the prospect of joy. Metaphorical on one level, yet poignantly relatable in terms of what it says about human relationships and our attitude towards nature, this tale is audaciously positioned within the tradition of Icelandic myth by debut director Jóhannsson. The uncanny sense of place and eternal summer light add a vital eeriness to his messed-up mix of emotional drama and the truly fantastic. As one character demands, ‘What the fuck is this?’ María and Ingvar believe it’s happiness. Mother Nature may not agree.
The screening on Saturday 16 October will be presented with closed captions for customers who are D/deaf or hard of hearing.
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