Our first Minicine at The Mills season of the year takes us to Scandinavia and the Arctic circle. Taking inspiration from the culture of the Nordic region, we have put together a programme of films that dispel certain myths and shed light on different aspects of its people and landscapes.
This month we begin with Bitch Hug (2012) – Bitchkram in its native Swedish – a comedy about a girl who longs to visit New York and goes to great lengths to hide her embarrassment when she misses her flight. Forced to live with another girl, the film looks at the differences between the two and the beautiful friendship that blossoms. Scandinavia and the Nordic region are often associated with isolation due to their sparse populations and restricting climate, but Bitch Hug deals with the isolation which many Millennials feel due to a culture of instant gratification and a heavy reliance on technology for social interaction.
Village at the End of the World (2012) however does deal with the type of isolation most common with Nordic countries. With a dwindling population of only 59, Niaqornat in Northern Greenland is at risk of extinction when its fish factory closes. Along with the younger inhabitants eager to leave for opportunities elsewhere, many are forced to leave for work. But rather than focusing on those that leave too much, this engaging and moving documentary showcases the quick-witted and eccentric characters left behind and presents their views on potentially being the last generation to inhabit the village.
Back in 2012, Iceland’s other greatest musical export Sigur Rós commissioned filmmakers to produce a series of short films and music videos to represent their album ‘Valtari’. The result is The Valtari Mystery Film Experiment which includes work from filmmakers including Ramin Bahrani and Floria Sigismondi and, with a vast international flavour, verifies the aim of this season; to highlight just how diverse, creative and communal the Nordic region truly is.
Recent film and television output from Scandinavia particularly has come in the form of the Millennium trilogy (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest), The Killing and The Bridge; dark tales of murder and revenge. Even our own previous visit to the region, Uno, was a gritty story of redemption involving drug dealing and violence. Nordic Season isn’t so much an antithesis to this representation but simply an alternative or extension of what the area has to offer both visually and narratively.
Tickets for all our Nordic screenings are on sale now over at our online ticket office at £5 each. Don’t forget you can secure a seat to each of our Minicine at The Mills Nordic Season screenings now for only £12.