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. Films in the second session of the series from the week of February 19 through February 25 are Phoenix /Føniks (Norway, 2018; dir. Camilla Strøm Henriksen) and Transnistra (Sweden, 2019; dir. Anna Eborn).
In Phoenix /Føniks, from an early age, 13-year-old Jill has been the primary caretaker for her younger brother and her troubled mother, a once-celebrated, mentally unstable artist. When her estranged father announces a surprise visit for her 14th birthday, the children receive a spark of much-needed hope, with the promise of escaping their suffocating household for a day in the brighter world outside. But as her mother’s mental condition takes a turn for the worse, and with the discovery that her father may be more interested in self-preservation than the welfare of his children, Jill’s dreams of stability become even more tenuous. Based on an original story written by director Camilla Strøm Henriksen in her feature film debut, Phoenix blends elements of fantasy and fairy tale with family melodrama, in this haunting tale of a teen coming of age in the midst of tragedy, and has been celebrated as “an intelligent family drama refrigerated with horror-movie chills” (The Guardian) that “seamlessly moves the story from social drama, through fantasy elements, to grandiose lifestyles” (Cineurope). Directed by Camilla Strøm Henriksen (86 minutes. In Norwegian with English subtitles.)
Atmospherically shot on 16mm film, Transnistra is an intimate and vital account of love and friendship in a complex, contradictory world. Over a period of four seasons, charismatic 16-year-old Tanya and her group of guy friends navigate their coming-of-age in Transnistria, a breakaway state created in the wake of Soviet collapse, on the edge of Moldova near the Ukraine border. In their town of Kamenka, days of swimming and climbing construction sites are interspersed with their exploration of blossoming young love and the search for identity, against a cultural backdrop of Russian pop music and the teachings of Fidel Castro. As they approach adulthood, they must also learn to forge out a future, and to define themselves within a society that offers little opportunities. “Intimately shot on 16mm film, Eborn explores the dynamics of the group, commenting discreetly on youth, love and life in a place such as this” Cine-Vue). Directed by Anna Eborn (93 minutes. In Russian/Romanian/Ukranian 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
Anna Eborn was born in 1983 in Sweden. Her debut feature length and self edited documentary, Pine Ridge, was selected in the Official Selection at the Venice International Film Festival 2013 and won best Nordic documentary at the International Film festival in Gothenburg in 2014. Further films include Epifania, a hybrid/fiction which premiered at the Busan International Film Festival in 2016, and the feature-length documentary Lida, which premiered in competition at CPH:DOX 2017 and in the international competition at Visions du Reel 2017. Her latest film Transnistra won the VPRO Award during the 2019 International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) and the Dragon Award of Best Nordic Documentary at Göteborg IFF 2019.
Camilla Strøm Henriksen has appeared extensively as an actress in Norwegian films, TV and theatre productions. She studied at the London Film School and graduated with an MA degree in directing in 2004. She has since directed multiple episodes of the longest running series in Scandinavia, Hotel Caesar, as well as the drama series Hvaler. She’s currently developing a TV drama series and a feature film as the writer-director. Phoenix is her first feature film, and is based on an original story written by Henriksen.