Danish director Bille August’s Silent Heart, starring Ghita Nørby – the grande dame of Danish stage and screen – will be launched in competition at the 62ndSan Sebastian International Film Festival (between 19-27 September). The film will be screened on 20 September, prior to its 13 November Danish premiere through SF Film.
One of the eight filmmakers who has twice received the Palme d’Or at Cannes – for The Best Intentions (1992) and Pelle the Conqueror (1988, which also picked up the Oscar for Best-Foreign Feature and the Golden Globe) – August has again worked with Nørby, 22 years after she starred as Ingmar Bergman’s mother in The Best Intentions.
August had not directed a Danish film since his 1988 Oscar winner, when in 2011 he returned to shoot Marie Krøyer[+], about the marriage of two Danish artists, which sold 296,000 tickets in Denmark. After an international detour – Night Train to Lisbon[+](2013) – he is back on home turf for a family drama scripted by Christian Torpe (Rita).
Silent Heart follows three generations of a family gathering over a weekend to say goodbye to Esther (Nørby), their materfamilias, who is terminally ill. Her two daughters have accepted her desire to die before her illness worsens, but the decision becomes harder and harder to deal with, as the weekend progresses and old conflicts resurface.
“It’s their absolutely last chance to make up and say their piece, and because the human drama is so severe, there is room to depict intimate relationships and take a close-up look at the psychological mechanisms that appear along the way,” said August of his 15thfeature, a Jesper Morthorst production for SF Film Production, which co-stars Paprika Steen, Danica Curcic and Pilou Asbæk. Denmark’s LevelK handles international sales