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Symbolism and realism in Rúnar Rúnarsson’s Sparrows

In the embrace of the steep, secretive mountains - almost constantly wrapped in a veil of clouds - in the Westfjords region of Iceland a remote, sleepy fishing village is paid a visit by a rara avis from Reykjavik: a 16-year-old fragile boy, Ari (Atli Óskar Fjalarsson Ingvar), who is rushed by his mother to leave his safe nest and move to his father (Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson) in order to start his adulthood unexpectedly early in life surrounded by the untamed beauty and harsh reality of his childhood town.

As the viewer . . .

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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.