Scandinavian Film Festival 2016Share Event on Facebook Share Event on Twitter Share Event on LinkedIn
The Scandinavian Film Festival opened on an appropriately freezing Canberra night where leaving the Palace Cinema complex the blizzard blowing around the lake swept many of us backwards despite our desperate bid to stay attached to the ground and not soar lakewards like a Mary Poppins heading for a dunking. We’d spent the last couple of hours socialising with a big opening night crowd spread across two cinemas all of us suitably rugged up for the opening night film Welcome to Norway. Welcome indeed to the frozen expanse of a vista that made you shiver just watching it, it did seem endless and uninviting. But this movie was about a topical subject where Petter Primus (Anders Basmo Christiansen) tries to turn his rundown hotel into a state funded refugee asylum centre for 50 freezing refugees. Compliance with the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration causes endless problems, money is short and an amorous librarian offers an unexpected solution but pivotal to the story is Abedi ( Olivier Mukata ) who resolves all manner of problems. It’s a film to put a smile on your face and a chill down your spine as you ponder the desperation of refugees and the exploitation inherent in so many aspects of their resettlement.
The program of offerings is comprehensive and an eclectic mix of dramas, documentaries , romantic comedy, historical drama and thrillers with tucked nicely in between the charming 2004 film As it Is In Heaven back to win a new audience. Starring Michael Nyqvist ( The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series) as the famous conductor forced to retire to his Swedish village who is co-opted into making something of the local Lutheran choir. And there is a sequel, with many of the originals ten years later in As It Is In Heaven2: Heaven on Earth.
The Scandinavian Film Festival continues at Palace Electric until 27 July.