Saturday, July 9, 2016

Parent-free, Scandi-fied

My family timed our trips as such that I have now spent almost two months without parental supervision. These last three weeks at home have felt almost like an extension of my holiday. There is space where there wasn't space before. I feel free.

One half of the parental equation will be away until mid-September, so that may be beneficial. Still, I'll soon be back in a place where I feel suppressed and oppressed. It can't be helped, but I have reason to believe I'm getting better at coping. Seeing my psychologist is immensely helpful.

I am in the middle of a Nordic film binge... so far I've seen the Danish political thriller The Idealist, the Icelandic bitter-sweet romantic drama Reykjavik, and the Swedish crowd-pleasing A man called Ove... tonight I plan to catch the Norwegian Welcome to Norway, and the Finnish The Fencer.

Where to begin? I liked how (*Spoilers*) in ...Ove the grumpy, old protagonist was nevertheless openminded about people of different racial backgrounds and gays. This is not necessarily typical of most countries' senior population. The ad preceding the film (for Volvo) also featured a scene of a young lesbian couple smiling while holding hands in their car, further speaking of Sweden's ground-breaking love of all different kinds of love. Volvo winks at the audience with its slogan "Made in Sweden. Not in Hollywood."

Indeed, there's nothing like a Scandinavian film to speak to the aggression of a power-hungry America - this is one of the stories behind The Idealist. You may get critiques of the USA from Iran of Russia, but none is so convincing as the Nordic. Not that the Danes get off scot-free - in fact, this film is about the consequences of a deceitful government who was willing to sacrifice honesty to cling to power. Just don't expect lots of women in this particular film.

Reykjavik was both familiar and new at the same time - a charming script with charismatic performances and an alluring visual style. A must if you are a fan of film, like the DVD rental store owning protagonist.

There is much more to say about these three films, but I'm afraid I must leave you here, dear reader - I have two new films to take in tonight, and I must get ready. :)

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