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The Deposit & Gods of Molenbeek — New Nordic Virtual Cinema Week 1

2-12-2021 THROUGH 2-18-2021
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—(L-R) The Gods of Molenbeek (1, 2); The Deposit (3, 4)

FRI—February 12 through THU—February 18
Film tickets $13 ($8 ASF Members)
Double-feature pass $20 ($12 ASF Members)
**Members will receive an email from ASF with their discount code for all films.**

Beginning the weekend of February 12, New Nordic Cinema at Scandinavia House returns in a virtual format! Celebrate contemporary Nordic filmmaking with us from home by catching some of the best new films in weekend sessions of contemporary feature films and documentaries. Opening the series on the week of February 12 through February 18 are the films The Deposit /Tryggð (Iceland, 2019; dir. Ásthildur Kjartansdóttir) and Gods of Molenbeek /Aatos ja amine (Finland, 2019; dir. Reetta Huhtanen)

The Deposit /Tryggð follows Icelandic journalist Gisella, who is on the verge of bankruptcy, having quit her steady job in order to write more hard-hitting stories as a freelancer while struggling with debt. After an assignment on Reykjavík’s housing crisis puts her into contact with two immigrant women squatting in a nearby estate — Abeba and her daughter Luna, from Uganda, and Marisol, from Colombia — she decides to rent them two of the spare bedrooms in her house. What begins as a warm and hospitable arrangement for all soon begins to develop tensions, particularly as Gisella increasingly inserts herself in her new tenants’ lives; and as suspicions from each side begin to escalate, a power struggle develops that could have disastrous consequences.  Based on the bestselling novel of Auður Jónsdóttir, The Deposit is a suspenseful psychological drama exploring the perils of cultural isolation, acclaimed as “a compelling psychological drama” (Cineurope). Directed by Ásthildur Kjartansdóttir (110 minutes. In Icelandic and Swahili with English subtitles.

In director Reetta Huhtanen’s documentary Gods of Molenbeek /Aatos ja amine, the Molenbeek-Saint-Jean district of Brussels is widely known as a likely jihadi capital. But to six-year-old Aatons and Amine, it’s a familiar home where they listen to spiders, discover black holes, and argue over who will get to steer the flying carpet that will take them to the lands of their ancestors. It’s also a place where, amid a backdrop of suicide bombings and police patrols, they must ponder bigger existential questions about religion and higher power. Aatos wants a god of his own; Amine already has Allah; and their friend Flo thinks that people who believe in God have gone crazy.  In this child’s-eye portrait, Huhtanen captures the refreshing clarity with which the kids strip spirituality down to its basic principles and question knowledge itself, while using make-believe to make sense of the senseless: “The filmmaker has cleverly made a film that puts the magic of childhood in the foreground”—Tue Steen Müller, Filmkommentaren. Directed by Reetta Huhtanen (73 minutes. In French/Finnish/Arabic/Spanish with English subtitles.)

Festival films will be available to ticket holders all over the U.S. Each session is limited to 250 tickets in an effort to preserve the intimate and communal experience. The sessions will take place over seven days (Friday — Thursday), with all films available for viewing on a virtual cinema screening platform throughout this period. To download viewing instructions and an FAQ, please click here.

About the Directors

Reetta Huhtanen is a filmmaker based in Helsinki. She has graduated with a Master of Arts from the ELO Film School Finland in Aalto University majoring in documentary film directing, and also holds a BA in Sociology and Philosophy from the University of Helsinki. Her films The Coffee Break, about three eternal students, and Economic Forecasters, an absurdist look into the inscrutable world of economics, have been widely exhibited at international film festivals. Gods of Molenbeek, a Finnish-Belgian-German co-production, is her feature documentary debut.

Ásthildur Kjartansdóttir is a director, screenwriter and producer from Iceland.  Her debut short film, Palli alone in the world, was released in 1997. The Deposit is her feature debut.

 
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