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The Nordic films screening at the Toronto International Film Festival 2017

About the festival

What? Toronto International Film Festival

When? 7-17 September 2017

Where? Toronto, Canada

Link: http://www.tiff.net/tiff/

Denmark

You Disappear / Du Forsvinder

Directed by Peter Schønau Fog

Starring Trine Dyrholm, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Michael Nyqvist, Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, Lars Knutzon, Sofus Rønnow, Meike Bahnsen

Mia is married to the successful headmaster Frederik, who is caught embezzling from his own school. But did he do this of his own free will – or has his personality been altered by the tumour lurking in his brain? Mia is desperate to uncover what kind of man she is actually married to. If the happiest three years of Mia’s life with Frederik were while he had a tumour in his brain, who was she married to before?

View on Nordic Film Database

TIFF Link

Winter Brothers / Vinterbrødre

Directed by Hlynur Palmason

Starring Elliott Crosset Hove, Simon Sears, Victoria Carmen Sonne, Lars Mikkelsen, Peter Plaugborg, Michael Brostrup

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.

Winter Brothers Review

View on Nordic Film Database

TIFF Link

A Drowning Man

Directed by Mahdi Fleifel

Surrounded by predators on the mean streets of Athens, a young refugee faces a heart-wrenching series of compromises if he hopes to survive another day, in this gripping portrait of life in exile.

TIFF Link

Finland

The Other Side of Hope / Toivon tuolla puolen

Directed by Aki Kaurismäki

Starring Sherwan Haji, Sakari Kuosmanen, Ilkka Koivula, Janne Hyytiäinen, Nuppu Koivu

A failing restaurant owner hires a young Syrian refugee he finds sleeping in the inner yard of the restaurant, in this Silver Bear–winning dramedy from acclaimed Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki.

Read our review of The Other Side of Hope

Nordic Film Database

TIFF Link

Miami

Directed by Zaida Bergroth

Starring Krista Kosonen, Sonja Kuittinen

A sheltered young woman is unexpectedly reunited with her estranged exotic-dancer sister, in Finnish director Zaida Bergroth’s affecting story of a dysfunctional family struggling to reforge their old bond.

TIFF Link

Euthaniser / Armomurhaaja

Directed by Teemu Nikki

Starring Matti Onnismaa, Jari Virman, Hannamaija Nikander, Pihla Penttinen, Heikki Nousiainen

The carefully balanced (albeit deranged) life of a freelance, black-market pet euthanizer begins to come apart at the seams in this loopy exploitation-movie throwback from Finland, which evokes the brazen psychological insights and aesthetic brio of such grungy genre classics as Monte Hellman’s Cockfighter and Larry Cohen’s God Told Me To.

TIFF Link

Iceland

Under the Tree / Undir Trénu

Directed by Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson

Starring Steinþór Hróar Steinþórsson, Edda Björgvinsdóttir, Sigurður Sigurjónsson, Lára Jóhanna

The shade from a front-yard tree brings the already simmering tensions between two families in an Icelandic suburb to boiling point, in this hilariously absurd and psychologically astute comedy from director Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson.

TIFF Link

The Swan / Svanurinn

Directed by Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir

Starring Thor Kristjansson, Blær Jóhannsdóttir, Gríma Valsdóttir, Ingvar Sigurðsson, Katla Þorgeirsdóttir

When young Sól is sent to live with her distant countryside relatives for a summer, she becomes entangled in a dramatic rite of passage with a mysterious farmhand, Jón, and the farmer’s daughter, Ásta.

TIFF Link

Norway

What Will People Say / Hva vil folk si

Directed by Iram Haq

Starring Maria Mozhdah, Adil Hussain, Rohit Saraf, Ali Arfan

Nisha’s double life — obedient to her traditional Pakistani upbringing at home, typical Norwegian teenager to her friends — comes crashing down when her concerned parents kidnap her and send her to Pakistan, in Iram Haq’s empathetic story of family, community, and culture.

TIFF Link

Valley of Shadows / Skyggenes Dal

Directed by Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen

Starring Adam Ekeli, Katherine Fagerland, John Olav Nilsen

A young boy ventures into the forest in search of mysterious creatures that eat sheep, in this delightfully creepy Scandinavian Gothic fable from Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen.

TIFF Link

Thelma

Directed by Joachim Trier

Starring Eili Harboe, Kaya Wilkins, Ellen Dorrit Petersen, Henrik Rafaelsen

Recently moved to Oslo to attend school, a young woman falls in love and discovers that she possesses terrifying powers, in this supernatural thriller from acclaimed director Joachim Trier (Louder Than Bombs).

Read our interview with Joachim Trier, Eili Harboe and Eskil Vogt in our new magazine. 

TIFF Link

Sweden

The Wife

Directed by Björn Runge

Starring Glenn Close, Jonathan Pryce, Christian Slater, Max Irons, Harry Lloyd, Annie Starke

Jonathan Pryce, Glenn Close, and Christian Slater star in Björn Runge’s adaptation of Meg Wolitzer’s bestselling novel about a woman (Close) who decides to leave her author husband (Pryce) on the eve of his Nobel Prize presentation in order to finally pursue her own writing aspirations.

TIFF Link

The Square

Directed by Ruben Östlund

Starring Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West, Terry Notary, Christopher Læssø

Swedish provocateur Ruben Östlund (Force Majeure) took home the Palme d’Or at Cannes for this no-holds-barred satire of the postmodern art world, about a self-important curator whose attempts to mount an ambitious exhibition go hilariously awry.

Review of The Square

Interview with Ruben Östlund

Nordic Film Database

TIFF Link

The Burden

Directed by Niki Lindroth von Bahr

In this comically acerbic musical epic, the animal occupants of a generic shopping plaza next to a freeway sing out their existential angst — doomed by the apocalyptic banality of subsistence in the modern age.

TIFF Link

Ravens

Directed by Jens Assur

A hardworking farmer begins to crack under the weight of his harsh daily existence and the indifference of his son to their traditional way of life, in Jens Assur’s debut feature.

TIFF Link 

Push It

Directed by Julia Thelin

Hedda is more athletic and skilled than the boys in her gym class and she knows it. But unspoken rules will ultimately influence who gets to win. Push It cleverly scrutinizes tacit social structures on the gladiatorial stage that is the high school gymnasium.

TIFF Link

Euphoria

Directed by Lisa Langseth

Starring Alicia Vikander, Eva Green, Charlotte Rampling, Charles Dance

Swedish filmmaker Lisa Langseth reunites with her Pure and Hotell star Alicia Vikander, along with Eva Green, in this story of two estranged sisters attempting a difficult and ominous reconciliation, with supporting performances from Charlotte Rampling and Charles Dance.

TIFF Link

Borg/McEnroe

Directed by Janus Metz

Starring Shia LaBeouf, Stellan Skarsgård, Sverrir Gudnason

Borg/McEnroe tells the story of the epic rivalry between Swedish tennis legend Björn Borg (Sverrir Gudnason) and his greatest adversary, the brash American John McEnroe (Shia LaBeouf), which came to a head during the 1980 Wimbledon Championships.

TIFF Link

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.