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Friday Films: LIRIC Scandinavian Film Festival

This fall Cheryl Passavanti, brings her expertise to LIRIC’s Friday afternoon film series with her fascinating Nordic film selections. Tending to be psychologically rather than plot driven, the films focus on reactions to social conflicts and everyday drama. Stressing the importance of community and nature, their themes often include isolation, mortality, love, politics and religion. Join fellow LIRIC members at Romita Auditorium in Iona’s Ryan Library on seven Fridays at 2:30 p.m. (no session on October 12) and enjoy a smorgasbord of films from Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.  

Featured Films

October 5
Mother of Mine

Finnish, 2005
Directed by Klaus Haro
111 minutes

During WWII, more than 70,000 Finnish children were evacuated to neutral Sweden to avoid the conflict. Separating children from their parents, even for the best of reasons, can have lasting psychological ramifications. Finnish submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

October 12 - No Class

October 19
Babette’s Feast

Danish, 1987
Directed by Gabriel Axel
103 minutes

Based on a short story by Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen), the film is set in a remote Danish village during the late 19th century. Two pious spinster sisters, members of an abstemious religious sect, give political refuge to Babette, who, unbeknownst to them, is a famous Parisian chef. Working gratis as their housekeeper and cook, she respects the simplicity of the sisters’ austere lifestyle and tastes. When Babette wins a sizable lottery, what will she do with her winnings? First Danish film to win the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

October 26
Sami Blood

Swedish/Norwegian/Danish, 2017
Written and directed by Sami Amanda Kernell
113 minutes

The Sami people, a Finno-Ugric people pejoratively called “Laplanders,” live in the far northern parts of Norway, Sweden and Finland and the Murmansk Oblast of Russia. The Sami, raisers of reindeer, were oppressed and disdained by other Scandinavians and treated as “racial inferiors.” This coming-of-age story set in the 1930s highlights the widespread nature of bigotry.

November 2
Autumn Sonata

Swedish, 1978
Written & directed by Ingmar Bergman
99 min

A renown pianist (Ingrid Bergman in her final film role) travels to Sweden to reunite with her estranged daughter (Liv Ullman) and has an unexpected encounter with her other daughter as well. Choosing career over motherhood, can this mother and her daughters find a way to communicate and find peace?
This psychological journey is an acting tour de force and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

November 9
The Hunt

Danish, 2012
Directed by Thomas Vinterberg
115 minutes

Mads Mikkelsen won the Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival for his performance as Lucas, a compassionate nursery school teacher who is accused of exposing himself to a child. The false allegation impacts his relationship to his family, friends and the entire community.

November 16
A Man Called Ove

Swedish, 2016
Directed by Hannes Holm
116 minutes

Ove, a grumpy widower, is every block association’s most loathsome neighbor. Caring more about enforcing rules than promoting amity, Ove’s life changes when an Iranian family invades his orderly territory. Soon to be remade with Tom Hanks in the role of Ove, this film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

November 30
After the Wedding

Danish, 2006
Directed by Susanne Bier
120 minutes

Jacob Petersen (Mads Mikkelsen) dedicates his life to helping street children in India. When the orphanage he runs may be closed, he receives an interesting offer. A businessman will give the orphanage $4 million – with conditions that will dramatically affect Jacob’s personal life. Is the offer worth the price?

You won’t want to miss any of these fascinating films!

After the conclusion of LIRIC’s Friday lecture, we hope you’ll join us across the street in the smaller, more intimate Romita Auditorium (in the Ryan Library) to see them.