In this film based on the critically acclaimed novel by Guðbergur Bergsson, in contemporary rural Iceland, after having been caught shoplifting, wayward 9-year-old Sól is sent to live and work on a farm with distant countryside relatives. Here, nature seems endless, and as Sól adjusts to her new surroundings she also strikes up a relationship with the mysterious farmhand Jón — who, much like Sól, likes words and writing better than people, inspiring her to nurture her own creative gifts.

But when the farmer’s rebellious daughter Ásta returns home with her own set of problems, and with her own complicated relationship to Jón, Sól soon finds herself entangled in a drama she is far too young to understand. And as she enters the murky waters of adulthood, Sól begins to realize that the wildness of nature is equally deep within the people who surround her.

“We see glimpses of the adult world, but childhood is never violated. It’s this emphasis on innocence that makes ‘The Swan’ such a brave piece of work.” —Valur Gunnarsson, The Reykjavik Grapevine

About the director

Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir is an Icelandic writer and director. Born in 1984 in Reykjavík, Ása completed a BA in Comparative Literature from the University of Iceland and La Sorbonne – Paris IV Université, and worked as a book critic for the Iceland National Radio before she decided to move to New York City and pursue her true love, filmmaking. She graduated with honors from the Columbia University film MFA program in 2012, and has written  and directed a number of short films, most notably the award-winning films Ástarsaga (Love Story), a 2013 finalist for a Student Academy Award, and Þú Og Ég (You And Me).

Her first feature film, The Swan, an adaptation of the critically acclaimed Icelandic novel of the same name, had its world premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film festival.



WEDNovember 14—7 PM & FRINovember 16—6:30 PM
$12 ($7 ASF Members)
91 min. In Icelandic with English subtitles.