OPENING NIGHT SELECTION - 2021 SCANDINAVIAN FILM FESTIVAL
OFFICIAL SELECTION - 2020 BERLIN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Set in Denmark’s underbelly, first time writer/director Jeanette Nordahl’s striking Scandi noir follows an impressionable teenage girl who’s placed in the care of an estranged relative (a remarkable Sidse Babett Knudsen), the head of a family crime syndicate.
After losing her mother in a car accident, shy and grieving 17-year-old Ida (Sandra Kampp, a major discovery) is taken in by her aunt Bodil (Knudsen) and her three adult sons in the Danish countryside. Ida hardly knows this brassy, suburban matriarch, but it’s a tender and welcoming environment so she soon settles into the new surroundings. They’re a loving - if dysfunctional - family at first glance, and it’s not until Ida learns of the shady nature of the family business that she begins to see through their gestures of affection and concern. Even so, young Ida finds herself drawn more and more into their world, and this complicity spurs some overwhelming moral and emotional choices.
Gripping and fiercely intelligent, Nordahl expertly builds suspense with this arresting story of family, loyalty and desire. Told with visual panache and marked by convincing performances (not least Sidse Babett Knudsen, equally malevolent and maternal), this lean, brooding and powerful coming of age story marks the arrival of a fresh new female voice in contemporary cinema.