Take off to the chilly shores of the Nordic region with the Volvo Scandinavian Film Festival 2017, returning for its fourth year in Australia. The Melbourne leg of the festival will take place between July 13 – August 2 at Palace Cinemas Brighton Bay, Como and Westgarth.
The Scandinavian Film Festival will showcase 20 of the most exciting new films coming out from Scandinavian countries this year, which includes festival opener The Other Side of Hope, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki.
To help narrow down what you can see at the festival, we’ve picked our personal highlights from the line-up!
The Other Side of Hope
Finnish auteur Aki Kaurismäki returns with his signature deadpan style in this timely black comedy dealing with the refugee crisis in Europe. The Other Side of Hope deals with this moment in time regarding the Syrian refugee crisis in a sensitive but comic manner as Kaurismäki tells the story of a Syrian asylum seeker who finds friendship with a hapless Finnish restaurateur.
The film serves as part two of Kaurismäki’s unofficial migrant trilogy, with 2011’s Le Havre being the first chapter.
Other filmmakers such as Michael Haneke have offered up more cynical takes on the refugee crisis and the plight of migrants in Europe, but where Kaurismäki excels is in combining social commentary with wry comedy and, as the title suggests, hope.
If a history lesson through film is your thing, check out the thrilling historical drama The King’s Choice. The film was Norway’s selection for the Academy Awards earlier this year and was successful in making it to the final shortlist. Chosen as the Centerpiece Film for this year’s Scandinavian Film Festival, The King’s Choice depicts Norway’s little-known involvement during World War Two.
Taking place over the course of three days in April 1940, the film dramatises King Haakon VII’s (Jesper Christensen) decision to defy the Nazi offer of ‘protection’ or hand Norway over to the Germans. The decision to resist the Nazis despite Norway’s own struggling military is framed as a courageous and bold decision.
If one is in the mood for something more fun, check out this Stranger Things meets Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants story by way of Sweden.
Based on veteran young-adult fiction writer Ingelin Angerborn’s award-winning 2011 novel, Room 213 is director Emelie Lindblom’s first film and follows three teenage girls in summer camp, with a light supernatural twist. Despite the supernatural element, the film is a light, heart-warming depiction of adventure and female friendships that will delight younger audiences but also offer something nostalgic for older ones.
Fans of Nicholas Sparks or romantic dramas will probably be interested in checking out Denmark’s offering of One-Two-Three-Go! The film is the love story of Jeppe (Nikolaj Groth) and Cecilie (Clara Rosager), two high schoolers who fall in love, but their love takes a tragic turn when they find out Cecilie has cancer and only a short time to live.
Director Barbara Rothenborg best sums up her film, “One-Two-Three-Go! is about young love that is put to the test, and how two young people are forced to face death and yet can ignore it and live their life. Perhaps we live life more fully when we know we’re going to die. Jeppe finds out that people often don’t know what they’ve got until it’s gone, but he knows and loves her all the more until Cecilie takes her last breath. Nothing lasts forever”.
Thanks to the Scandinavian Film Festival, Meld Magazine has five double passes to give away. For your chance to win, simply enter our Rafflecopter competition below. Be quick, competition closes next Monday, July 10!
The Scandinavian Film Festival will take place in Melbourne between the July 13 – August 2 at selected Palace Cinemas. For further information about the Scandinavian Film Festival, including tickets, film screening schedules, visit the official website.