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The Nordic releases of 2017

Happy New Year, Nordic film fans! It’s time to begin another incredible year in Nordic cinema, and we’ve got all the new releases that you will be able to see this year. Mark your calendars:

Denmark

Three Things 

Original title: 3 ting

Director: Jens Dahl

Starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, Lærke Winther & Jacob Ulrik Lohmann

The film centres in and around a hotel where the police is negotiating the terms of a witness protection deal with Mikael, the prime suspect of a big money deposit robbery and an expert on explosives. In order to agree on the deal Mikael demands three things from the police: that his former girlfriend is brought to him, that the police bring the contents of a box he has stored, and that he is served butter chicken from his favourite restaurant. The police, under heavy time pressure to get him to witness the following day, agree.

Release date: 18th May 2017

Amina’s Letters

Original title: Amina’s breve

Director: Jacob Bitsch

Starring Esben Smed, Lisa Carlehed, Siir Tilif, Omar Shargawi

When Janus is released from a secure psychiatric hospital, he has only one thing in mind – to find a girl named Amina. She means everything to him, and her letters have saved him from committing suicide while confined in the institution. Janus fears that Amina has come to grief and embarks on a detective-style journey through the streets of the big city to find her. His journey takes him into a paranoid and violent world, and it nearly costs him his life. He becomes increasingly convinced that Amina is living in a violent marriage, from which he must save her. He becomes so obsessed by the notion of Amina’s tragic fate that only when it is too late does he realise that the person who needs saving is himself.

Release date: 9th March 2017

Backstabbing for Beginners

Original title: Backstabbing for Beginners

Director: Per Fly

Starring Malene Blenkov, Nikolaj Vibe Michelsen, Lars Knudsen, Jay Van Hoy, Daniel Bekerman

When young and idealistic Michael lands his dream job at the United Nations, he quickly finds himself at the centre of the Oil for Food programme. He learns the ropes from Pasha, a seasoned diplomat with a considerable ego. After a UN official is killed in Iraq, Pasha needs a fresh face to present a report on the success of Oil for Food to the UN Security Council. Michael is the perfect candidate. When Michael discovers that the programme is deeply corrupt, he also realises that he has been instrumental in supporting the bribes paid to Saddam Hussein. The only way out is to expose it all, risking his own life, his mentor’s career and the life of the woman he loves.

Release date: 9th September 2017

Man Divided

Original title: QEDA

Director: Max Kestner

Starring Carsten Bjørnlund, Sofia Helin, Marijana Jankovic, Dragomir Mrsic

The year is 2095. The world is ravaged by ecological disaster. The oceans have risen and all natural freshwater is gone. Copenhagen City’s Head of Secret Intelligence, Fang Rung, has undergone molecular fission in order to send his other half back in time on a secret mission to resolve the issue of lacking freshwater. In Copenhagen, in 2015, he succeeds in relaying ground breaking research to the future. Everything looks good – until it turns out that, the connection between the two times has been disconnected. With his other half stuck in the past, Fang Rung has created a bigger problem than the one he solved, seeing no other option than to travel back to 2015 himself, in order to retract his lost half.

Release date: 3rd August 2017

You Disappear

Original title: Du forsvinder

Director: Peter Schønau Fog

Starring Trine Dyrholm, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Michael Nyqvist

The charismatic Frederik is the principal at Saxtorph Private School where his wife Mia works as a teacher. They have a son, Niklas. They live in a beautiful villa and lead perfect lives – at least, so it appears. But when Frederik is suddenly arrested and charged with embezzlement, the life which Mia knew suddenly disappears and this forces her to revise her view of her husband. During the arrest, Frederik behaves peculiarly and it is suggested that he undergoes a brain scan. It turns out that Frederik has a tumour in his brain. All of a sudden the question arises whether Frederik was so ill when he committed his crime that it warrants an acquittal, or whether he has acted intentionally. The uncertainty drives Mia to despair and her life falls to pieces as Frederik’s illness escalates.

Release date: 3rd August 2017

Winter Brothers

Original title: Vinterbrødre

Director: Hlynur Pálmason

Starring Elliott Crosset Hove, Simon Sears, Peter Plaugborg, Michael Brostrup

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

Release date: 3rd August 2017

Darkland

Original title: Underverden

Director: Fenar Ahmad

Starring Dar Salim, Stine Fischer Christensen, Ali Sivandi, Jacob Lohmann

Zaid is a successful surgeon and lives in a fancy apartment with his pregnant girlfriend. One night Zaid’s younger brother, Yasin, knocks on his door and asks his brother for money. Zaid refuses. A few days later Yasin gets assaulted and killed. Since the police are not very helpful, Zaid feels forced to find out who did it himself and embarks on a mission to eliminate all the criminal gangs in Copenhagen. He disguises himself and takes on the criminal underworld. But Zaid’s persistent battle results in serious consequences for himself and his family, and he has to decide if the price of revenge is worth it all.

 

Release date: 19th January 2017

Gud taler ud

Director: Henrik Ruben Genz

Starring Søren Malling, Lisa Nilsson, Marcus Gert, Jesper Asholt

In a house in the suburbs, Uffe reigns. Father, psychologist and self-appointed almighty God, he rules his world with an iron – yet loving, even quirky – hand. Uffe’s patients of many years have gradually become his disciples. His little congregation meet in these yellow-brown surroundings, where the discussion is lively and the drinking heavy. Uffe has three sons. The oldest son, Mikkel, has left home. The middle son, Thomas, is trying to get his high-school equivalency degree, even while he’s afraid to leave the house, which he doesn’t dare tell God either. Thomas is protected by Gerd Lillian, the long-suffering good mother and wife and the family’s rock. Amidst all this stands the youngest son, Jens, on the cusp of adolescence and blessed with a “God-given” talent – he can write. A rebellion against God is quietly brewing among the three sons and Gerd Lillian.

Release date: 21st September 2017

Finland

Honeybunnies

Starring Pihla Viitala, Antti Luusuaniemi, Minna Haapkylä, Stig Rästa, Arja Saijonmaa

A film about two sex addicts. About a woman, who knew how to say yes. About a man, who didn´t know how to say no.

Release date: 6th January 2017

Law of the Land

Original title: Armoton maa

Director: Jussi Hiltunen

A retiring policeman gets caught up in between two younger men trying to kill each other. A modern borderline western taking place on both sides of the northern Finnish-Swedish border.

Release date: 20th January 2017

The Other Side of Hope

Original title: Toivon tuolla puolen

Director: Aki Kaurismäki

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

Paths of Finnish travelling salesman and Syrian refugee cross in Helsinki.

 

Release date: 3rd February 2017

Tom of Finland

Director: Dome Karukoski

Starring Miia Haavisto, Aleksi Bardy, Annika Sucksdorff

A film about a man and his art that changed the world

Release date: 24th February 2017

 

Lapland Odyssey 3

Original title: Napapiirin sankarit 3

 

Janne and Inari have already two children. Janne has stayed at home, while Inari has started working instead. Janne has developed a severe mid-life crisis. Who is he, and what is his place in the world? Janne decides to go hiking to fells. Inari urges Räihänen to join because she doesn’t believe that Janne can survive three nights hike. Kämäräinen joins in because he thinks “hiking” to be a codename for heavy boozing. And like before, also this time the journey turns into an epic survival trip.

Release date: 25th August 2017

The Eternal Road

Original title: Ikitie

Director: AJ Annila

Starring Tommi Korpela, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Irina Björklund, Ville Virtanen, Helen Söderqvist, Eedit Patrakka

In 1929, the Great Depression leaves millions of Americans without work. Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union, invites the workers of the world to come and build the first socialist state. The largest migration that has ever taken place from the USA starts, and soon over 10,000 Americans have left the country to start up a new life in the Soviet Union.

Release date: 15th September 2017

The Unknown Soldier

Original title: Tuntematon sotilas

Director: Aku Louhimies

A film adaptation of Väinö Linna’s best-selling World War II novel The Unknown Soldier (1954).

Release date: 27th October 2017

Iceland

I Remember You

Original title: Ég Man Þig

Director: Óskar Thór Axelsson

Three young people from the city set out to restore a decrepit building in the remote West Fjords. When a supernatural entity appears, their trip takes on terrifying consequences. Meanwhile, on the other side of the fjord, a psychiatrist is investigating an unexplained suicide, which is somehow linked to his own son, who vanished some years earlier.

Release date: 7th April 2017

Mules

Director: Börkur Sigþórsson

Sharp-suited Erik represents the aspirational face of modern Iceland. Atli, a petty criminal just released from prison, is stuck in a downward spiral. The distance between these two very different brothers vanishes when the duo teams up to smuggle cocaine into Iceland, inside plastic pellets swallowed by a young Polish mule, Sofia. But things go wrong when rule-breaking cop Lena starts closing in on them and Sofia falls sick. With the drugs yet to reach their destination and a rival gang demanding a slice of the action, time is a luxury that the brothers can’t afford. Charismatic anti-hero Erik’s ability to stay one step ahead is tested to the limit – how many lives is he willing to sacrifice to sustain his own?

Release date: 2017

Alma

Director: Kristín Jóhannesdóttir

Alma is serving a sentence in a forensic psychiatric unit for murdering her lover, an act she does not remember at all. After seven years of detention Alma escapes when her lover is found alive and she then really decides to kill him.

Release date: 2017

Svanurinn

Director: Asa Hjorleifsdottir

Starring Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson, Thor Kristjansson, Katla M. Þorgeirsdóttir

A nine-year-old girl is sent to a country farm in Iceland to serve her probation for shoplifting. The girl finds a kind of freedom by submitting to the inevitable restraints and suffering of remote rural life.

Release date: 2017

Rift

Director: Erlingur Thoroddsen

Starring Björn Stefánsson, Sigurður Þór Óskarsson, Guðmundur Ólafsson

A dead relationship haunts two men in a secluded cabin.

Release date: 2017

Under the Tree

Original title: Undir trénu

Director: Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson

Starring Steinþór Hróar Steinþórsson, Edda Björgvinsdóttir, Sigurður Sigurjónsson

An old sex tape and a beautiful tree trigger a fierce and futile war between ordinary people.

Release date: 2017

Norway

Drib

Original title: Drib

Director: Kristoffer Borgli

The film is a reconstruction of events in the recent past that centers around a canceled ad campaign for an energy drink shot in Los Angeles. The story is rewritten just enough to avoid legal complications. Hopefully.

Release date: January 2017

The Ash Lad: In the Hall of the Mountain King

Original title: Askeladden – I Dovregubbens hall

Director: Mikkel Brænne Sandemose

Starring Vebjørn Enger

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.
The Ash Lad in the Hall of the Mountain King is an adventure film based on Asbjørnsen and Moe’s classic tales about the Ash Lad .

Release date: September 2017

From the Balcony

Original title: Fra balkongen

Director: Ole Giæver

From the Balcony, a space and time odyssey

Release date: March 2017

The 12th Man

Original title: Den 12. mann

Director: Harald Zwart

The 12th man tells the story of the Norwegian war hero Jan Baalsrud’s legendary escape from the Nazis during World War II.

Above the Arctic Circle in northern Norway, the dramatic story of the young resistance fighter, Jan Baalsrud, unfolds. Jan is the only one, out of twelve resistance fighters to escape the Germans, but the Gestapo is on his heels. Jan’s moral fiber, incredible strength and his courageous countrymen keeps him alive. But when he seeks refuge in a mountain cave and ends up being trapped by a blizzard for two weeks, all hope seems lost. Never the less, Jan is recovered, weak, frostbitten and barely alive, but one question remains, will he make it to neutral Sweden before the Germans find him

Release date: November 2017

Thelma

Director: Joachim Trier

Release date: 2017

Valley of Shadows

Orginal title: Skyggenes dal

Director: Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen

Starring  Kathrine Fagerland, Adam Ekeli, Sylwia Arnesen Juszczak

Valley of Shadows takes place in a small village in western Norway. Six year old Aslak and his mother Astrid experience a tragic event which Aslak can´t quite understand and Astrid struggles to handle.
In a quest for answers, Aslak ventures into the dark forest on the mountain which his mother has forbid him to enter. Is what happens inside the forest merely a boys fantasy or is it reality?
Valley of Shadows takes place in a realistic universe with elements from the gothic and the fable.

Release date: 2017

The Quake

Orginal title: Skjelvet

Director: John Andreas Andersen

Scripted by Norwegian screenwriters Harald Rosenlow Eeg and John Kaare Raake, who delivered, ao, The Wave – Norwegian director Roar Uthaugs disaster movie, took more than 800,000 domestic admissions to become Norways No 1 chartbuster in 2015 (and No 7 of all time) The Quake is based on a 1904 earthquake (5.4 on the Richter scale), which hit Oslo and surrounding areas. And what if we have a significantly larger earthquake in wait, when because of the population density and infrastructure – Oslo is significantly more vulnerable today than then?

Release date: 2017

Handle With Care

Orginal title: Hjertestart

Director: Arild Andresen

Kjetil, a Norwegian offshore worker is a recent widower, now left to take care of his six year old adopted son Daniel. Unable to deal with his lone parent role, Kjetil decides to bring Daniel to Colombia to find the boy’s biological mother. In Bogot, a taxi driver and his family assist Kjetil in his search for Daniels mother while the young little by little reconnects with his country of origin. Gradually Daniel gets use to life in Colombia and Kjetil is presented with an option that can change their life.

Release date: 24th February 2017

Sweden

Måste gitt

Orginal title: Måste gitt

Director: Ivica Zubak

Metin is a young man living in a Stockholm suburb governed by unwritten rules. He is different, he writes a diary of everything he sees, names and places are documented in great detail. When the book disappears his life is turned upside down.

Release date: 6th January 2017

Sami Blood

Orginal title: Sameblod

Director: Amanda Kernell

Starring  Lene Cecilia Sparrok, Mia Sparrok, Maj Doris

Elle Marja, 14, is a reindeer-breeding Sámi girl. Exposed to the racism of the 1930’s and race biology examinations at her boarding school, she starts dreaming of another life. To achieve this other life she has to become someone else and break all ties with her family and culture.

Release date: 3rd March 2017

Blind Alley

Orginal title: Den enda vägen

Director: Manuel Concha

Starring Daniel Cvetkovic, Mikael Cvetkovic, Miodrag Stojanovic

Malmö, Sweden 2010. A serial killer is shooting innocent people of foreign appearance. One of the shots will change the lives of two brothers forever. Blind Alley is the story of fate and exclusion, love and struggle. How far are they willing to go to get a better life?

Release date: 7th April 2017

Borg

Director: Janus Metz

Starring Sverrir Gudnason, Shia LaBeouf, Stellan Skarsgård

A film about the world’s two best tennis players, who even in their early twenties feel like prisoners in their own careers. Two sportsmen in a commercialised tennis industry, constantly reduced to the other’s opposite: “Ice Borg” and “Superbrat”.

Release date: 8th September 2017

Tårtgeneralen

Director: Filip Hammar, Fredrik Wikingsson

“Based on events in Köping in spring 1985, when author Jan Guillou said on TV that the central Swedish town was the most boring place in the country. A warm-hearted comedy starring Robert Gustafsson. Written and directed by Filip Hammar and Fredrik Wikingsson.” (The production company’s synopsis)

Release date: 25th December 2017

All Inclusive

Director: Karin Fahlén

Tove and her goody-two-shoes sister Malin travel to Croatia to celebrate their mother Inger’s 60th birthday. Inger’s husband has just left her and she is deeply unhappy. Things deteriorate quickly in a competition to see who can best help Inger get back on her feet.

Release date: 10th November 2017

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.