Nordic Lights Film Festival

Sunday, January 14

Note: All Sunday films will be screened at the SIFF Film Center with the exception of The Other Side of Hope, which will be shown in a larger theater at SIFF Cinema Uptown. Individual tickets to The Other Side of Hope are available for purchase here!

11am: Underdog (Svenskjävel)

Drama   |   Sweden/Norway   |   2015   |   97 minutes   |   Ronnie Sandahl

23-year-old Dino dreams of a different life. Like an abundance of Swedes her age, she has fled the mass unemployment of her home country in search of a more worthwhile existence in a nouveau-riche Oslo. But her new life is caught in deadlock — Dino finds herself stuck in a destructive loop of temporary jobs, financial trouble, and hard partying. A broken arm incidentally leads to a position as a housekeeper in a Norwegian middle-class home. Dino is thrown into a reality very far from her own. During a few sultry summer weeks she ends up the center of an odd love triangle, an unpredictable struggle for affection as well as dominance.


1pm: The Giant (Jätten)

Drama   |   Sweden   |   2016   |   90 minutes   |   Johannes Nyholm

A young man born with a deformity that impedes his ability to communicate finds freedom in his fantasies in this touching feature debut from Swedish director Johannes Nyholm. Rikard is hampered by an unusual deformity that drastically limits his ability to speak, making every day a battle to communicate with those around him. Luckily, his best friend understands him perfectly; plus, he is one of the key players on his boules team, which provides him with purpose, a circle of friends, and an escape from the drab long-term-care facility where he lives. Rikard is also buoyed by his imaginative inner life: a fantasy land where he is a giant bounding across a picturesque landscape derived from kitschy 18th-century pastoral paintings.


3pm: Unexpected Journey (Saattokeikka)

Comedy   |   Finland   |   2017   |   78 minutes   |   Samuli Valkama

Veikko is an old racist who has ended up living in a suburban apartment block filled with a very colorful selection of refugees and immigrants. Kamal is a 16-year-old boy who’s fed up with his life in Finland and dreams of moving to Nairobi to live with his father. The only problem is, he doesn’t have a job or the money to buy the flight ticket. Veikko is ill, and he wants to go to his summer cottage to die. As his last deed, wanting to teach Kamal a lesson, Veikko hires Kamal to help him to get to his cottage, and there are a few surprise turns along the way.


5:30pm: The Other Side of Hope (Toivon tuolla puolen)

Comedy/Drama   |   Finland   |   2017   |   100 minutes   |   Aki Kaurismäki

The Other Side of Hope follows the fortunes of Khaled, a young man who has travelled to Helsinki from his home in Syria to seek asylum. For first-time visitors, Finland’s capital city can be a strange and confusing place—but help is out there for those who know where to find it. Aki Kaurismäki returns with another hilarious and poignant portrayal of society that extends far beyond Finnish borders with its beautiful insight and universal appeal. 

* This film will be screened at SIFF Cinema Uptown! Individual tickets are available for purchase here. ($10/members, $13/general admission)


8pm: The Homecoming (Blóðberg)

Drama   |   Iceland   |   2015   |   100 minutes   |   Björn Hlynur Haraldsson

Gunnar, a sociologist in his fifties who has written countless self-help books, lives in a beautiful house with Dísa, his wife of thirty years. Despite his expertise, their relationship is on the rocks and their attitude toward one another is becoming increasingly resentful and bitter. Their 25-year-old son and only child, David, comes back from a holiday with a new girlfriend, Sunna. Sunna is pretty, smart, polite, and on the face of it, the perfect daughter-in-law. However, upon meeting Sunna, Gunnar is forced to face a dark secret. 


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