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The Nordic films selected for the Karlovy Vary Film Festival 2018

About the festival

The Karlovy Vary Film Festival runs from the 29th of June until the 7th of July in the Czech Republic.

Denmark

The Guilty

Directed by Gustav Möller

Asger is finishing one of the many annoying duties at the police station when he gets a call from a kidnapped woman. Can he help her quickly and with strategic savvy? A procedural thriller drawing on the Scandi crime drama tradition, which dispenses with action scenes without sacrificing its adrenaline punch.

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Finland

Take Care of Your Scarf, Tatiana

Directed by Aki Kaurismäki

Aki Kaurismäki’s style is immediately apparent. An economical approach and an ability – ostensibly employing the simplest means possible – to capture the essence of people and of life’s principal values. A flair for evoking an atmosphere in which melancholy blends with gentle irony. And this unconventional road movie documents the filmmaker’s penchant for his own perennial heroes and stories – diffident outsiders and their rarely fulfilled desire for happiness.

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Flame

Three years ago a negative was found of a lost Finnish film made in 1937. After years of natural chemical processes and gradual degradation, the nitrate frames transformed the images of the filmed melodrama. Portions of the scanned negative, with all their defects left as is, make up a fascinating materialization of time and bear witness to the mutability of meaning and perception.

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Iceland

And Breathe Normally

Directed by  Ísold Uggadóttir

While Lára, a single mother with a drug history, struggles with her oppressive situation in life, Adja is attempting illegally to get to her daughter into Canada via Iceland. When the two women’s lives intersect at passport control, neither of them realises to what extent coincidence will influence their future. A socio-critical drama which won Sundance’s Directing Award.

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Norway

U-July 22

Directed by Erik Poppe

On July 22, 2011, a right-wing extremist attacked several hundred young people who were attending a summer camp sponsored by the Workers’ Youth League. Sixty-nine of them did not survive the rampage. Norwegian director Erik Poppe returns to the tragedy in order to see it through the eyes of the unsuspecting campers, who had to fight for their lives for a chaotic and interminable seventy minutes.

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Sweden

Border

Directed by Ali Abbasi

Reclusive customs officer Tina is gifted with an extraordinary sense of smell. Any passengers trying to smuggle contraband won’t get very far: she can sniff out their fear and anxiety straight off. One day, however, suspicious-looking Vore walks past her and suddenly everything is different. Working with various genres (thriller, romance, fantasy) Abbasi leaves room for the imagination and offers a look at the world of people from the outside in. The question for Tina is whether to stay inside or outside. The filmmaker worked with a short story by John Ajvide Lindqvist, who caught his attention as the author of Let the Right One In. The film was this year’s winner of Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section.

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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.