From the far reaches of Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland is, the Scandinavian Film Festival full to the brim with anything and everything you could ask for.
For 2022, the lineup includes classics, historical dramas and a focus on food, just to name some of the highlights. But if there’s anything to take home for Australian audiences, it’s a visual holiday to some beautiful places.
The opening night was full of smiles, flowing Carlsberg and delicious Scandinavian-inspired food. As the audience scanned the program, trying to decide what movies to watch this festival, the excitement of the Opening Night film built.
Opening the Festival was Margrete – Queen of the North. And what an epic tale fit for the big screen. The best part of this drama is that it’s based on actual events from the 1400s.
The son of Margrete was killed in battle and bringing together Denmark, Norway, and Sweden adopted Erik to become the new King of the North. To further strengthen their position, Erik is due to marry an English Princess. The plan is to have England support their military stance against Germany should it be required.
Sadly, Erik’s plans to marry the English Princess are thrown into chaos when a man claiming to be Margrete’s dead son is brought to the castle. Margrete must not only decide what’s best for her position, the country and the people but also the possibility that her son is still alive.
Margrete – Queen of the North is an epic journey that will leave you even more curious than when it started. It’s a visually splendid film as it takes you across Denmark and inside grand castles.
Other films to keep an eye out for this season is the festival’s Special Presentation, The Woodcutter Story. An exceptionally bizarre film with such dark comedy, you won’t know if you should laugh or continue trying to figure out what’s going on.
Calm and unfazed Pepe lives in a small rural town as a woodcutter. His evenings are much the same if not for dinner in front of the TV, his coworker and friend would come and play cards. Not much changes day to day, that is until a very random two days changes his life.
Not only is his workplace closed down, a series of other events throw his life into chaos. Pepe does his absolute best to find the positives in the situation, but the world keeps throwing all it has at him.
The dark humour of The Woodcutter Story makes the visual display even greater. The stunning snow-capped mountains and small rural town make for a postcard. The film uses this to its advantage as it takes you through the forest and inside the empty townships that were once full of life.
Another film worth checking out is The Emigrants which is based on a series of novels from the 1970s. It follows Kristina as she and many other Scandinavians left their homes and the hunger and distress in search of a better life in America.
A Taste of Hunger sits in the festival’s food theme. Starring Game of Thrones Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Carsten, a renowned chef. Along with his wife Maggie who created the setting for their restaurant, they chase a Michelin star. But their strive for greatness sees them consider sacrificing their perfect life.
The festival is showing across Australia until early August. Head online to see local showings and enjoy some great films to show you what winter is really like.
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