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The best Nordic films of 2017

As we wrap up 2017, there’s nothing more fun than going over the best films of the year. We have put together a list of some of the highlights of the year, complete with trailers and further information on our database (including where to watch online, directors, actors, interviews, reviews and more).

Let us know in the comments just how many of these films you’ve seen! (or if we’ve missed your favourite).

Denmark

Darkland

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A successful doctor who loses his little brother in a gang-related assault gives up his privileged life to become a masked warrior and avenge his brother’s death.

Small Town Killers

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The two tradesmen Ib and Edward are tired of their lifeless marriages and dream of living the good life from the stash of money they’ve earned moonlighting for years. After a huge fight with their wives the two men get drunk and hire a Russian contract killer to do a hit on their spouses. But they have badly underestimated their wives, and this becomes the start of an absurd journey where Ib and Edward to their own horror end at the top of a kill list.

A Horrible Woman

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When Rasmus meets Marie, he is certain that she is the love of his life. However, it doesn’t take long before it turns out she is a possessive and manipulative being, that cunningly dissects Rasmus to pieces.

Three Things

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Before entering the witness protection program, bank robber Mikael demands 3 things from the police. 3 things that cast a whole new light on the robbery he and his partners have been jailed for.

Man Divided

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  1. The world is ravaged by ecological disaster. Oceans have risen and all natural freshwater is gone. Fang Rung has undergone molecular fission in order to send his other half, code name Gordon Thomas, back in time to the year 2017. Gordon goes in search of scientist Mona Lindkvist whose ground-breaking research was lost before it could save the world. When Fang Rung loses contact with Gordon he sees no alternative but to travel back to 2017 himself trying to locate his other half before the world’s balances are irreparably damaged. It’s a race against time for Fang Rung to save himself and the world. 

You Disappear

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A teachers’ world is turned upside down when her husband, a successful headmaster, is caught embezzling from their own school. Did he do this of his own free will – or has his personality been altered by the tumor lurking in his brain? As the teacher is assisting an attorney in providing a legal defense, recent neuroscience forces her to rethink who her husband really is.

Winter Brothers

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A brother odyssey set in a worker environment during a cold winter. We follow two brothers, their routines, habits, rituals and a violent feud that erupts between them and another family.

Darling

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DARLING is the moving love story of a dancer on the rollercoaster ride of her life, a drama about the rise and fall of a modern woman as she summons the courage to face her greatest trial.

The Man

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Simon is the king of the Danish art scene – eccentric, successful, wealthy, with a beautiful wife and a young mistress. Life is beautiful, until the day his unknown son Casper turns up and attracts all the attention. It turns out that Casper is the world-famous graffiti artist “The Ghost”. This is a provocation and a challenge to Simon, and the relationship between father and son is put to a serious test. However, against all odds he two slowly grow closer to each other, but the question is whether blood ties are enough? Because after all Simon has no plans of being a father, and Casper has other plans with his father than simply getting to know him.

Pound for Pound

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Biography about boxer Jørgen ‘Gamle’ Hansen.

Word of God

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WORD OF GOD is the screen version of Jens Blendstrup’s best-selling autobiography of the same name published in 2004 – a wry, funny and touching film by award-winning director Henrik Ruben Genz, and starring Søren Malling in his defining role as Uffe/God. It is the 1980s – Jens and his brothers live in a single-family house in Risskov, a suburb of Aarhus, Denmark. Here, the family’s patriarch psychologist and self-appointed God – Uffe – rules the roost in his dressing gown and underwear. Changes threaten the peace when Uffe decides to write his memoirs. The family home is suddenly filled to the rafters with Uffe’s loyal patients, who both provide Uffe with moral support – and drunken companionship. As insurrection smoulders on the part of his three sons, maternal Gerd Lillian does all she can to keep the family together. But for Jens, Thomas and Mikkel to break free of their father’s tyrannical rule and grow up will require a final, inevitable showdown with ‘God’.

Finland

Law of the Land

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An arctic western taking place on both sides of the northern Finnish-Norwegian border. A retiring police officer learns that his illegitimate son has been released from prison and is terrorizing the area. As his final task, he tries to contain the situation but it soon spirals out of control and turns violent, forcing him to face his past. 

Tom of Finland

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Award-winning filmmaker Dome Karukoski brings to screen the life and work of one of the most influential and celebrated figures of twentieth century gay culture.

Unknown Soldier

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A film adaptation of Väinö Linna’s best selling novel The Unknown Soldier (1954) and the novel’s unedited manuscript version, Sotaromaani.

The Other Side of Hope

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Khaled, syrian refugee stows away on a freighter to Helsinki. Meanwhile, Wikström is a traveling salesman who wins big at a poker table and buys himself a restaurant with the proceeds. When the authorities turn down his application for asylum, Khaled is forced underground and Wikström finds him sleeping in the yard behind his restaurant. He offers him a job and a roof over his head and, for a while, they form a Utopian union with the restaurant’s waitress, the chef and his dog.

Yösyöttö

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Dad is left alone with a newborn after the mom decides motherhood is not her thing. Single dad tries to survive alone in “women’s world” and keep the baby and himself alive.

Lapland Odyssey 3

Janne is having an emotional crisis and decides to go for a hike in the beautiful nature of Lapland – alone. As usual, things don’t work out that easily. Inari wants to return to work life and sees an opportunity when her friend invites her to the annual swamp football tournament.

Miami

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Two sisters reunite after years of separation. Their lives intertwine as they share a dream of a bright future, only to find out that the past can’t be easily undone.

Rendel

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The Rendel movie is a story of a man blinded by his desire for revenge and hatred. Even though Rendel can be considered as a super hero, he is somewhat darker than the traditional representatives of the genre. The movie takes place in the fictionalized version of a Finnish city, Mikkeli.

Euthanizer

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A man who euthanizes animals as a side job runs afoul of a white supremacist.

Iceland

I Remember You

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A story about a young man and woman who move into a small abandoned town in Iceland to renovate an old house. Little do they know the town has a dark history.

Under the Tree

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When Baldwin and Inga’s next door neighbours complain that a tree in their backyard casts a shadow over their sundeck, what starts off as a typical spat between neighbours in the suburbs unexpectedly and violently spirals out of control.

Rift

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Months after they broke up, Gunnar receives a strange phone call from his ex-boyfriend, Einar. He sounds distraught, like he’s about to do something terrible to himself. Gunnar drives up to the secluded cabin where Einar is holed up and soon discovers that there’s more going on than he imagined. As the two men come to terms with their broken relationship, some other person seems to be lurking outside the cabin, wanting to get in.

Norway

Thelma

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A confused religious girl tries to deny her feelings for a female friend who’s in love with her. This causes her suppressed subconsciously-controlled psychokinetic powers to reemerge as seizures with devastating results.

What Will People Say

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Sixteen year-old Nisha lives a double life. At home with her family she is the perfect Pakistani daughter, but when out with her friends, she is a normal Norwegian teenager. When her father catches her in bed with her boyfriend, Nisha’s two worlds brutally collide. To set an example, Nisha’s parents decide to kidnap her and place her with relatives in Pakistan. Here, in a country she has never been to before, Nisha is forced to adapt to her parents’ culture.

The Ash Lad: In the Hall of the Mountain King

Espen “Ash Lad”, a poor farmer’s son, embarks on a dangerous quest with his brothers to save the princess from a vile troll known as the Mountain King – in order to collect a reward and save his family’s farm from ruin.

DRIB

The inside story of an energy drink marketing ploy gone wrong.

Bright Nights

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A father tries to rekindle his relationship with his son after years of absence and lack of communication. He takes him on a car ride across northern Norway, hoping it is not too late.

Christmas Blood

Murderer gets caught after terrorising and killing people during Christmas night for past 13 years in Norway. After being in solitary for almost 6 years, psychopath escapes couple days before Christmas night. Police tracks next target of the psychopath to be in small village in the northernmost part of Norway. Group of friends are having reunion in the same village and unexpectedly end up being in part of Santa’s plan. 

Handle With Care

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After his wife’s death, offshore oil worker Kjetil is having a hard time relating to his adopted son Daniel. In an act of desperation, he brings Daniel along to Colombia to search for the boy’s biological mother.

VampyrVidar

A Christian farmer searching for a higher purpose to life, falls into sin and wakes up as the Prince of Darkness in the city of Stavanger, Norway.

Cloudboy

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Cityboy Niilas (12) is sent to his mother in Lapland. The only one succeeding in making contact with him is his new sister Suna (11). She takes him on a journey in the magical woods where shy Niilas turns into a wild cloudboy.

Going West

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An unemployed music teacher takes his estranged transsexual father on a road trip to the west coast of Norway, in order to honor his late mother’s excellent quilting skills.

Hoggeren

Anders moves from the city to a quiet small farm that belonged to his deceased parents and spends his days out in the forest, aimlessly chopping down trees. His only desire is to be out in nature, and to lose himself in the physical work. His attempt to escape is soon interrupted by the constant involvement of his pushy relatives who want to tell him what to do and how to do it. Soon it becomes clear that Anders has just traded in one claustrophobic existence for another.

From the Balcony

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A filmmaker observes his place in the universe from his balcony in an Oslo suburb. He looks back at his upbringing and ponders a fundamental question: How did I get here?

Sweden

The Square

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The Square is a poignant satirical drama reflecting our times – about the sense of community, moral courage and the affluent person’s need for egocentricity in an increasingly uncertain world.

The Snowman

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Detective Harry Hole investigates the disappearance of a woman whose scarf is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman.

Borg/McEnroe

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The story of the 1980s tennis rivalry between the placid Björn Borg and the volatile John McEnroe.

Euphoria

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Sisters in conflict travelling through Europe toward a mystery destination.

The Nile Hilton Incident

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A maid witnesses a murder at an upscale hotel and a policeman is assigned to the case, but it soon becomes clear that important people don’t want the case solved.

Solsidan

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In this movie adaptation of the TV-Show by the same name, we join the three couples in a comedy about divorces, love, child longing, weird parents and unwritten bathing rules in Torekov.

Måste gitt

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Respected suburb guy in Stockholm who lives in criminality but want to be an actor. By coincidence he dropped his diary and was found by Lena Endre who thinks its great and want to publish it…

Rum 213

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When twelve-year-old Elvira goes to summer camp strange things start to happen in her room. Things that can not be explained – unless you believe in ghosts.

Ravens

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1970s, Sweden – Hard working farmer Agne (played by acclaimed actor Reine Brynolfsson) struggles with the harsh reality of his daily life, hoping his teenage son Klas will take over the farm and continue his legacy. Klas however, dreams of a world far away from this rural existence. Sumptuously lensed, this powerful coming of age story, written and directed by Jens Assur, paints a tangled web of shame, guilt, madness and the dreams of youth.

Småstad

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Since early childhood, Björn has secretly carried an insurmountable fear. When his father dies of old age, he and his four sisters are each left with a video message, that makes him question everything.

Beyond Dreams

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Mirja must find her place after serving jail time. When she gets a job as a hotel cleaner she starts living a double life. She’s torn between her sick mother and her old group of friends, who have always been her real family.

 

 

 

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.