The shade from a front-yard tree brings the already simmering tensions between two families in an Icelandic suburb to a boiling point, in this hilariously absurd and psychologically astute comedy from director Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson. Grieving Inga and put-upon husband Baldvin are the proud owners of the area’s only tree. Next door, amateur marksman Konrad lives with his new, much younger wife, the athletic Eybjorg — whose mere appearance incites torrents of expletives from Inga. Worse, it’s a pleasant summer, and the only thing more coveted than trees in Iceland is sunlight: Eybjorg is infuriated by the way the overhanging branches of Inga’s beloved tree block the sunshine. The sudden return of Inga’s son, Atli only complicates the situation.
Absurdly hilarious and psychologically astute, Under the Tree probes the way proximity heightens resentment and malice. Directed by Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson (Iceland, 2017).
In celebration of the centenary of Iceland’s independence and sovereignty, Scandinavia House and the Consulate of Iceland in New York bring you an Icelandic movie of the month through 2018.
“The sharpest comedy to come from Iceland in a decade.”
– TIFF’s Steve Gravestock
“Sigurdsson packs so much emotional depth into his accomplished third feature… Near-perfect calibration between family drama and black comedy. Easy to watch, funny and thoughtful… has the audience literally torn between laughter and tears…”
“Under the Tree is like a Michael Haneke film on laughing gas.”
– The Dallas Morning News
“a perceptive exploration of spiralling domestic tensions… Inspiring ample laughs as well as palpable unease… sharp, stylishly-made…”
– Screen International
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 1978. He is a graduate of the prestigious film program at Columbia University, New York. His first feature film Á annan veg screened at film festivals all around the world and was re-made in the US as Prince Avalanche (starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch). Hafsteinn was selected among “Variety’s 10 European Directors to Watch” in 2012.
About the Series
Each year, Scandinavia House presents the films chosen by Nordic countries to compete for the Oscar nomination for the Best Foreign Language Film. This year we will be presenting the 2017 contenders: November (Estonia), You Disappear (Denmark), Under the Tree(Iceland), Tom of Finland (Finland), Thelma (Norway), and The Square(Sweden).
Films in the series include:
WED—January 10—7 PM
$12 ($7 ASF Members)
89 min. In Icelandic with English subtitles