Scandinavian Films at SXSW

Good Things Await

SXSW is coming up this month, and the lineup has been announced. Lucky for us, it includes a ton of Scandinavian films.

First up, lets recap what SXSW is. South by Southwest is a set of film, music and digital festivals and conferences that take place in Austin, Texas in the USA. The film portion runs for 9 days, and includes a heap of talks, conferences, interviews, and q&as.

Here’s an overview of the Scandinavian films being shown:

Good Things Await (Denmark)

Farmer Niels Stokholm lives in his farm with his wife Rita who works as his helping hand. The couple has been doing biodynamic farming for over 30 years. They have founded and managed the farm according to the idea that man and earth are fundamentally connected to the universe. Niels makes all the practical decisions in harmony with nature and in respect of the animals. These methods and beliefs in biodynamic farming yield some of the finest and most sought-after vegetables in the world. In spite of this, Niels has to battle against EU regulations and frequent animal welfare controls, in addition to fines and lawsuits, that threaten to close down the farm.

We’ve reviewed Good Things Await in our new issue

Bikes vs Cars (Sweden)

Bikes vs Cars depicts a global crisis we must talk about: Climate, earth’s resources, cities where the surface is consumed by cars. The bike is a great tool for change, but the interests who gain from cars invest billions each year on lobby and ads to protect their business.

In Sao Paulo where car sales are booming, bike activists push for radical changes. Once LA had the best public transport on the planet, 20% commuted on bike. A lobby driven development. In Toronto car dependent voters elect a mayor that wipes out bike lanes and trams.

In Copenhagen 40% commute by bike daily. Imagine if the whole world had numbers like this; an immediate climate effect, cities with a human scale.

The Ceremony (Sweden, but in French)

France’s most famous dominatrix, two close friends and two lovers share their innermost thoughts about love, friendship, dominance and submission – as we meet the unusual and fascinating author Catherine Robbe-Grillet and her inner circle.

The Look Of Silence (Denmark)

In this companion piece to THE ACT OF KILLING, director Joshua Oppenheimer does something virtually unprecedented in cinema or in the aftermath of genocide: it documents survivors confronting their relatives’ murderers in the absence of any truth and reconciliation process, while still living in a culture where the murderers remain steadfastly in power. The film follows an optometrist who discovers how his brother was slain during the ‘65-’66 Indonesian tragedy and the identity of the killers. In search of answers, he decides to confront each of his brother’s murderers.

The Visit (Denmark/Austria/Ireland/Finland/Norway)

This film documents an event that has never taken place – man’s first encounter with intelligent life from space. With unprecedented access to the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs, the military, and experts from leading space agencies, the film explores a first contact scenario, beginning with the simplest of questions: Why are you here? How do you think? What do you see in humans that we don’t see in ourselves? A journey beyond a terrestrial perspective, revealing the fears, hopes, and rituals of a species forced not only to confront alien life forms, but also its own self image.


09:55 – 11:05, Ingrid Ekman, Bergsgatan 4B (Sweden)

67 year old Ingrid has decided to deal with cancer on her own. She retreats from the outside world and it retreats from her – apart from sporadic visits from the home care services.

But then home care employee Frida knocks on her door and awakens feelings that Ingrid can’t shut out.

Teenland (Denmark)

Sally is locked up at Teenland. A prison-like institution for teens who are so fucked up emotionally that they have developed supernatural powers . The mission is to normalize the misfit teens and Sally accepts the premise that she is sick and abnormal. Everything changes when Sally encounters power sociopath Ting- e –ling, who convinces Sally that she must use her skills and dare to loose control. This is what teenagers do. The rebellion has begun.

WHOLE (Denmark)

MIRA has a heartache and feels empty inside. Her friend attempts to fill out Mira’s emptiness with vodka and parties, but as Mira meets the 500 year old shaman ULRIK, a more holistic solution arises: Mira must find her power animal to regain her inner strength. But after being put into a drum induced trance, Mira meets something entirely unexpected.

CategoriesNorway Sweden
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.

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