DIRECTOR: Maria Sødahl
NORWAY / 2019
BOFA 2021 Online Film Festival
RUNNING TIME: 130 MINS
Organically emotional, never melodramatic … raw and unpretentious.
Here’s a great plot: famous dancer gets a terminal cancer diagnosis, her lifetime partner is distraught, the family is thrown into chaos. Sadly, this one is based on the personal experience of the director, Maria Sødahl. Sødahl puts her gut-wrenching, life-changing experience to crushing filmic effect, along with standout performances from Stellan Skarsgård and Andrea Bræin Hovig as the couple. As the family veer variously from sympathy to distraught to “what about me”, the film examines the wider effects of the diagnosis on memory, behaviour and perception – and about love. Billed as a ‘probing and affecting film’ it reveals the director’s own perception of the terrors – both physical and mental – that come from a literal death sentence. Covering just seven days from the first diagnosis, the film takes you deep into normally forbidden territory, thrown starkly into relief when the threat of imminent death jerks back the covers from a successful family’s living secrets.
AWARDS: Winner, Best Actress, Berlin International Film Festival 2020