Niels Arden Oplev’s “Speed Walking”, a coming-of-age drama set in provincial Denmark of the 70s, premieres at Chicago Film Festival on 13 October in the Main Competition category. Watch trailer below.
THE AGE OF POLYESTER. Sidse Babett Knudsen is worlds apart from her stylish “Borgen” prime minister in Niels Arden Oplev’s “Speed Walking,” on the bill in Chicago. Photo: Bjørn Bertheussen
Selling 230,000 cinema tickets since its domestic release in late August, “Speed Walking” has earned a position as one this year’s most popular Danish films at the cinema. Now Niels Arden Oplev’s drama, set in quirky, provincial Denmark in the midseventies, is off to its international premiere, competing for the prestigious Golden Hugo Award in the Main Competition at Chicago Film Festival.
The film follows young Martin who is struggling to find his footing on the shaky ground of adolescence. As he is getting ready for his communion, his mother suddenly dies, her tragic death triggering a chain of events that affect everyone in the small community where he and his family live. Overwhelmed with grief neither Martin’s dad nor his older brother are capable of taking care of Martin, who seeks comfort in his friendship with Kim and his girlfriend Kristine.
Niels Arden Oplev had his international breakthrough with the original Swedish adaptation of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” He helmed the 2013 Hollywood production “Dead Man Down,” also starring Noomi Rapace, as well as the pilot of “Under the Dome” and three episodes of “Unforgettable.”
“Speed Walking” is also part of a special spotlight series of Scandinavian films at the festival. The other Danish titles in the series are “The Salvation” by Kristian Levring, “The Look of Silence” by Joshua Oppenheimer, “Breaking the Waves” by Lars von Trier and the short film “2 Girls 1 Cake” by Jens Dahl.
Thomas Heinesen has produced “Speed Walking” for Nordisk Film with support from the Danish Film Institute. Both director and producer are scheduled to attend the premiere.