The Nordic films screening at the Glasgow Film Festival 2018

This year’s Glasgow features a number of new Nordic films, including The Charmer and Finland’s record-breaking The Unknown Soldier. It also has a special section for our Baltic neighbours, showcasing films from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

When? 21 February – 4 March 2018

Where? Glasgow, Scotland

Website: https://glasgowfilm.org/glasgow-film-festival


The Charmer

Directed by Milad Alami

Screening in Pioneer

Milad Alami’s intense, award-winning drama is a noir-ish tale full of guilty secrets. Suave, handsome Esmail (Ardalan Esmaili) is an Iranian refugee in Copenhagen, urgently seeking a romantic connection that might allow him to stay in the country. A furniture remover by day, he spends his evenings in wine bars, attempting to charm every woman he encounters. Law student Sara (Soho Rezanejad) seems to have the measure of him. A subtle, tightly-wound tale that offers a fresh perspective on the plight of the refugee and the struggle to escape marginalisation.

Read our review

View on festival website



Directed by Zaida Bergroth

Screening in Window on the World

A family reunion teeters between admiration and resentment in this entrancing mixture of road movie and thriller. After the death of their father, Anna (Sonja Kuittinen) goes in search of her older, estranged sister Angela (Krista Kosonen), an exotic dancer who is deep in debt. The two women could not be more different on the surface and seem to bring out the worst in each other. It is innocent, sheltered Anna who suggests a cunning plan to pay off her sister’s debts, which involves blackmailing some of her wealthier, well-connected clients.

Read our review

View on festival website

The Unknown Soldier

Directed by Aku Louhimies

Screening in Window on the World

Aku Louhimies’ gripping adaptation of the classic Second World War novel by Väinö Linna has been a phenomenon in Finland, smashing box-office records and embedding itself in the national consciousness. Released for the 100th anniversary of the country’s independence, it is the most expensive Finnish film ever made and focuses on a platoon of ordinary Finnish soldiers over three years of the brutal, exhausting Continuation War against the Soviet Union. A heartrending account of a band of brothers forged in battle and committed to fight for their country until the last man standing.

View on festival website


The Swan

Directed by Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir

Screening in Window on the World

Adapted from Guðbergur Bergsson’s celebrated novel, Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir’s assured first feature is a magical coming of age story set in the wilds of Iceland. Caught shoplifting and too much for her mother to handle, free-spirited nine-year-old Sól (Grima Valsdóttir) is sent to her uncle and aunt’s farm for the summer. Initially lonely and resentful, she softens as the animals, luminous countryside and people she meets, including a mysterious young Norwegian worker, begin to charm her. Gradually, she comes to understand the complexities of the adult world.

View on festival website



Directed by Kristoffer Borgli

Screening in Future Cult

Fearlessly savaging high-end marketing industries and society’s nihilistic relationship with advertising, Kristoffer Borgli’s (read our interview with him) incredible meta-documentary recreates performance artist and comedian Amir Asgharnejad’s (read our interview with him) disastrous journey into the capitalist industry. After gaining notoriety in a series of YouTube videos in which he intentionally gets beaten up, Amir is invited by an international energy drinks brand to be the face of a violent new campaign. The film’s recreation of Amir’s experience is a hazy and hypnotic journey that doesn’t go to plan, leaving you questioning what is fact and what is fiction. Featuring a pulsating score from PC Music’s FelicitaDRIB is a unique film, impossible to define.

Read our review

View on festival website




All synopses taken from film festival website

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.