A chance to enjoy the films nominated for the most important Nordic film prize.

At times a black comedy, at other times relatively humorless, low-budget Finnish movie Euthanizer finds the titular misanthrope – an executioner of unwanted pets in a bleak rural hamlet – eventually driven to perform the same favor for their unlovable owners. It’s a theme animal rights activists might favor: Practically every character is an argument for mercy killing in this bilious tale […]. [R]esourcefulness and an offbeat perspective mark debuting feature writer-director Teemu Nikki (who also edits here) as a talent to watch. The other two-legged being who invades Veijo’s space is Lotta (Hannamaija Nikander), a nurse at the local hospital where his elderly father lies dying. She assumes at first that the elder man’s suffering pains his son, when in fact Veijo has good reason to hope dad suffers as much as possible. Regardless, Lotta is strangely attracted to Veijo’s dark, prickly personality. She insistently pursues involvement, and in
Screenings
A moving meditation on the challenges of farm life in Sweden and a disturbing psychological exposé of how it is to struggle with an unchosen vocation, Ravens by Jens Assur is a haunting, visually stunning work. As an award-winning photographer, the director brings mesmerising Ansel Adams-style perfection to each frame, the imagery and solemness of the film reminding of the iconic Ingmar Bergman. Every shot by cinematographer Jonas Alarik is a work of art, bucolic, showing nature moving, breathing and undulating with its own emotion; the stillness of a boy sitting amid an ethereal symphony of birdsong, or serenely walking through tall grasses, buried in them. This stark beauty contrasts with the harshness portrayed in farming life, a grittiness, the strenuous burden of toil and labour, an overwhelming stress that the farmer Agne (Reine Brynolfsson) is unable to manage. Cows are mysteriously found dead in far removed locations. One suspects
Screenings
Joachim Trier’s uncanny psychological thriller follows a young woman whose burgeoning sexuality is linked to intense episodes and cosmic disturbances. Trier and his longtime screenwriter Eskil Vogt are back in a Norwegian setting for this tremendously acted […] supernatural drama-thriller about a disturbed young woman. There is a scariness and sexiness to go with its cool understatements and opaque mysteries. […] Thelma creates an uncanny accumulation of mood, an ecstasy of disquiet, like the film’s hostile and telekinetically induced starling-murmurations. It also interestingly suggests that horror doesn’t need to have a nihilistic or unhappy ending. Eili Harboe’s performance as Thelma is outstandingly good. Thelma is a shy young woman who has just arrived at university in Oslo, leaving behind her two over-protective and very religious parents: Trond (Henrik Rafaelsen) and Unni (Ellen Dorrit Petersen), who have an exasperating habit of checking up on her online […]. Thelma is lonely, and
Screenings
First there is the darkness of a limestone mine, lit only by helmet flashlights […], and then there’s the comparative dazzle of the processing plant, bleached white by a settling of lime dust and snow. Somehow these conflicting images are rendered equivalently bleak and scuzzy in Hlynur Pálmason’s challenging, deeply weird and yet peculiarly compelling directorial debut, in which a tiny community of Danish workers […] feels so isolated and remote it could well be on the surface of the moon. […] [M]ost of the men, big, silent types with craggy faces […] are of such prosaic ordinariness that an escape into drunkenness is as much as they need to get through their hardscrabble lives. Johan (Simon Sears) is one such guy — young, hunkily good-looking and unthinking enough to stay sane despite the privations of this life. His brother Emil (Elliott Crosset Hove) is another story: he’s either too
Screenings
Is there anything rarer than an intelligent feel-good film that knows how to tackle urgent global issues with humor as well as a satisfying sense of justice? Look no further than Woman at War, Benedikt Erlingsson’s gloriously Icelandic […], near- perfect follow-up to Of Horses and Men [HIFF 2014], featuring an environmental activist modestly taking on the world […]. Commentators will be tumbling over themselves trying to define what kind of movie this is: comedy, musical, social drama, politically correct issue film. It’s all those except the last; political correctness implies one-dimensional preaching that narrowly cuts off conversations, […] whereas Woman at War deftly centralizes a profound humanity from which vital issues are comfortably suspended. […] Halla (Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir) is […] an anonymous figure using a potent bow and arrow to bring down power lines in a one-woman crusade against heavy industry. Grounding everything is Geirharðsdóttir’s splendid performance(s), fleshing out
Screenings
Is there anything rarer than an intelligent feel-good film that knows how to tackle urgent global issues with humor as well as a satisfying sense of justice? Look no further than Woman at War, Benedikt Erlingsson’s gloriously Icelandic […], near- perfect follow-up to Of Horses and Men [HIFF 2014], featuring an environmental activist modestly taking on the world […]. Commentators will be tumbling over themselves trying to define what kind of movie this is: comedy, musical, social drama, politically correct issue film. It’s all those except the last; political correctness implies one-dimensional preaching that narrowly cuts off conversations, […] whereas Woman at War deftly centralizes a profound humanity from which vital issues are comfortably suspended. […] Halla (Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir) is […] an anonymous figure using a potent bow and arrow to bring down power lines in a one-woman crusade against heavy industry. Grounding everything is Geirharðsdóttir’s splendid performance(s), fleshing out
Screenings