The Nordic films screening at the Chicago Film Festival 2018

The Chicago International Film Festival runs from the 10th until the 21st of October in Chicago, USA.

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Before the Frost
Directed by Michael Noer

An aging farmer in rural Denmark must make some difficult decisions about his family and his land in this gripping 1850s period piece from the director of the recent Papillon remake. Faced with the prospect of starvation during another tough winter, Jens enters into a Faustian deal with a wealthy, neighboring farmer that he soon comes to regret. This tense drama has the heft and incisiveness of Shakespearean tragedy.

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Directed by Virpi Suutari

Troubled father Jani journeys across the countryside, running a small street fair and selling meat from a food truck. Helsinki business partners Maija and Reetta are about to launch a new oat-based meat substitute that could change the world. With a spunky soundtrack and mesmerizing cinematography, Entrepreneur paints a vivid portrait of three entrepreneurs—one stuck in the past, the other two striving for the future.

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Woman at War
Directed by Benedikt Erlingsson

Halla is a middle-aged, woolly sweater-wearing Reykjavik choir conductor, but she’s also a secret eco-warrior, fighting to save the Icelandic countryside from industrial pollution. Writer-director Erlingsson (Of Horses and Men) makes audacious use of an Icelandic Oompah band and a Ukrainian vocal trio to comment on the action.

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The Raft
Directed by Marcus Lindeen

In 1973, five men and six women sailed across the Atlantic on a small boat as part of a radical social experiment. The aim of anthropologist Santiago Genovés: to study the roots of sex and violence upon this adrift laboratory. But the scientist’s plan goes awry when members of the group challenge his expectations. The Raft is a captivating, witty, and ultimately heartening look at human behaviour.

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Directed by Ali Abbasi

Fantastic in every sense of the word, this idiosyncratic thriller centers on a Swedish customs officer with a special talent for detecting contraband who must ultimately choose between good and evil. This exciting, intelligent mix of romance, Nordic noir, social realism, and supernatural horror defies and subverts genre conventions and is destined to be a cult classic. Winner, Un Certain Regard, Cannes Film Festival.

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Becoming Astrid
Pernille Fischer Christensen

This biopic chronicles a character-defining period in the life of Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren, the much-beloved children’s author of Pippi Longstocking. As a teenager, Astrid’s family encourages her creativity, allowing her to work at the local newspaper. But seduced by her boss and bearing his child, Astrid must learn to fend for herself as a young woman—and proves to be just as strong, determined, and resilient as her greatest fictional heroine.

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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.