Gothenburg Film Festival 2019 to focus on the apocalypse

Next year’s Gothenburg Film Festival will have a section dedicated to all things apocalyptic.

The section will include a group of films that demonstrate how filmmakers visualise the future against the backdrop of the climate crisis.

“With the festival’s Focus: Apocalypse, we are exploring how today’s filmmakers work with the existential, ethical and political aspects of this crisis. Perhaps more than any other art form, film has preoccupied itself with envisioning the apocalypse and post-apocalyptic situations, and perhaps it is precisely through such artistic imaginings that we can deal with civilisation’s presently critical state,” Jonas Holmberg, Artistic Director at Göteborg Film Festival, says.

The seminar program will focus on how filmmakers portray these climate problems, as well as the anxiety and emotional, philosophical and political dilemmas facing people today.

The first five films in the program have been announced. These films are:

Directed by Pella Kågerman & Hugo Lilja

Several already traumatised people escaping a planet in ruins in the hope of finding solace on Mars, experience what was not allowed to happen when their space ship suddenly veers off course. Pella Kågerman and Hugo Lilja’s film adaptation of Harry Martinson’s world-renowned “Aniara: A Review of Man in Time and Space” situates the story alarmingly close to our time.

Woman at War
Directed by Benedikt Erlingsson

The choir director Halla becomes radicalised and turns into an armed ecoterrorist in a lonely struggle against the aluminium industry. Celebrated Icelandic director Benedikt Erlingsson’s (Of Horses and Men, 2013) masterful, Cannes-awarded climate-comedy is Iceland’s contribution to next year’s Oscars.

The Quake
Directed by John Andreas Andersen

Skyscrapers collapse and whole streets split apart as nature displays its might in Oslo. The most powerful disaster film ever made in the Nordic countries combines an intimate family drama with startling images of destruction, which come together to remind us of what we have to lose.

Endzeit – Ever After
Directed by Carolina Hellsgård

Two women on the run from hordes of zombies struggle for survival in a post-apocalyptic Germany. Swedish director Carolina Hellsgård finds a glimmer of light in a world in ruins across this intimate and philosophical portrayal of friendship, hope and zombie apocalypse.

In My Room
Directed by Ulrich Köhler

A melancholic apocalyptic drama about the TV cameraman Armin, who wakes up one day to a world without people. Suggestively and ominously, but not without humour, the German director Ulrich Köhlerillustrates a post-apocalyptic plight where modern society and its monuments are slowly consumed by nature.

The full line-up will be announced on the 8th of January 2019. 

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.