Nordic Film Winter showcases several new films

The festival has premieres plus classics from Scandinavia and the Baltics

For the ninth year, the Nordic Film Club is organizing Nordic Film Winter (Severská filmová zima), a festival of Nordic and Baltic cinema. The festival will run in Prague from Feb. 14 to 19 at kino Lucerna. A smaller version of the festival will play in other Czech towns and cities.

The festival offers films from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Lithuania, and six films will be Czech premieres.

The opening ceremony will take place Feb. 14 in kino Lucerna, featuring the Czech premiere of the Finnish comedy Heavy Trip (Hevi reissu), about a heavy metal band called Impaled Rektum trying to make it big despite never having had an actual concert in 12 years. When opportunity knocks, they steal a van and a corpse and head out for a festival in Norway.

Comedies, thrillers, and historical and contemporary dramas make up the rest of the program. Antonio Tublén directed the psychological thriller Robin (Neklid / Uro). A traumatized woman is found in a forest, claiming to have witnessed a murder. The police can't find anything proving her story, but she is convinced that she's the next victim. Her own investigation has surprising results.

The film Owl Mountain (Soví Hora / Peledu kalnas) is set in Lithuania in 1947–52, with resistance fighters facing Soviet troops. A high school student seeks to document the events and atrocities in the struggle for independence, and the students often meet in a place called Owl Mountain Park to have fun in the shadow of death and deportation.

Director Audrius Juzenas previously made the political film The Excursionist.

Now It's Dark, from Norwegian director Arild Østin Ommundsen, has a woman find her estranged husband in bed with a new lover. She flees the scene and embarks on an existential roller-coaster ride of dreamlike encounters and finds some very dark places.

The same director made It's Only Make Believe, which is also in the festival.

In the Norwegian comedy Going West (Na západ / Rett vest), from writer-director Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken, an unemployed music teacher takes his grieving estranged father on a road trip to the west coast of Norway. The father has accepted an invitation to a quilting contest sent to his now-deceased wife, and will try to impersonate her.

From Iceland, the thriller Mihkel, directed by Ari Alexander Ergis Magnússon, is based on true events from a 2004 criminal case where a body was discovered by a chance by a diver in a harbor.

Some older films in the program are also worth mentioning.

A classic film on the program is the 2001 Norwegian comedy Mongoland, with a woman returning home after several months to find everyone in a state of disillusionment, and her boyfriend nowhere to be found. But it is Christmas, so it can't all be bleak.

The 2004 Norwegian film Monsterthursday (Příšerný čtvrtek / Monstertorsdag) looks at a love triangle between a surfer, his wife and a friend of a friend, and shows extreme weather and love.

It's Only Make Believe (V říši divů / Eventyrland), a 2013 Norwegian drama by Now It's Dark director Arild Ostin Ommundsen, has a former convict trying to create a new life for her daughter and herself, but the past comes back to haunt them.

All films feature color-coded subtitles in Czech suitable for the hearing impaired. In Prague, Brno and Ostrava, the films will have English subtitles.

The festival is organized by the Nordic Film Club with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, Prague City Hall, Brno City Hall, Volvo Car Czech Republic and embassies of the Nordic countries.

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