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Göteborg Film Festival in Brief: Day Four

Cinema Scandinavia’s editor-in-chief, Emma Vestrheim, is attending the Göteborg Film Festival on behalf of the website. The Göteborg Film Festival is the largest film festival for Nordic films, and the ‘in Brief’ series is a summary of the films and documentaries Emma sees. 

You can find the full reviews as well as interviews in the March issue of our magazine, which will be available to Members. You can also follow Emma on Twitter here. 

Deadwind

Finland / Competing for the Nordisk Film og TV Fond Prize

Directed by Rike Jokela

Deadwind follows the classic Nordic Noir plot of a strong, female detective with issues in her private life. The main case in season one surrounds the corruption of an environmental company with some politics thrown in.

Detective Sofia Karppi (Pihla Viitala) and new detective Sakari Nurmi (Lauri Tilkanen) start investigating the mysterious death of a woman at a construction site for a future block of environmentally conscious buildings. The CEO of this company, Alex Hoikkala (Tommi Korpela) becomes caught up in the scandal. Furthermore, Sofia’s complicated personal life (her husband died and now she’s left with two daughters) also becomes caught up in the murder investigation.

Set in Helsinki’s autumn, the setting perfectly suits the noir mood that Deadwind seeks to create. The series really feels like the typical Scandinavian Noir series, and I got very similar vibes to the series that started it all, The Killing (especially Sofia’s character). But being compared to The Killing isn’t necessarily a bad thing, in fact in this scenario it’s a compliment. Deadwind is sure to delight Scandinavian television drama fans.

★★★1/2

Ride Upon the Storm

Denmark / Competing for the Nordisk Film og TV Fond Prize

Created by Adam Price

 

Okay, I know I just need to say this is a new Danish TV series starring Lars Mikkelsen and created by Adam Price (Borgen) to convince you all to watch it, and I don’t blame you; it’s a match made in even. But for the purposes of this website, I’m going to continue on with a review.

Moving away from the classic Noir genre, Ride Upon the Storm is a family drama involving the Krogh family, who have a history of priesthood going back 250 years. Johannes (Mikkelsen) is the patriarch of the family, and like God punishes and praises his two sons, August (Morten Hee Andersen), who followed in his father’s footsteps to priesthood, and Christian (Simon Sears), who is constantly failing and struggling to do well. When Johannes fails to become a bishop, he flees into alcohol abuse, which seems to be often enough for him. His favourite son, August, lands his dream job of going to Afghanistan as a military chaplain, turning down the glamorous job offer of being the priest in Copenhagen’s famous Marble Church, and Christian is caught plagiarising his dissertation. In the middle of this, Johanne’s wife Elisbaeth (Ann Eleonora Jørgensen) begins to doubt herself as the supportive wife.

Ride Upon the Storm is slow-paced yet manages to be full of drama, and Lars Mikkelsen is just a damn good actor. It feels real, emotional, and it hooks you from the first minute. It’s hard to tell where the series is going to end, and that’s always something you want. It does have very interesting, almost supernatural, elements that tie in with the religious themes, but I don’t know what they plan on doing with it.

Can I have the rest of the season, please?

★★★★★

Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.