Join us to celebrate Midsommar with a slew of Nordic films from 18 June to 31 July!
We are very happy to launch Midsommar,our Summer programme in partnership with Cinema Galeries, from 18 June to 31 July!
Inspired by one of the most important days in the Nordic countries, Midsommar or ‘midsummer’, marking the longest day of the year, we decided to celebrate the magic and light surrounding this special day with an exciting selection of Nordic cinema, from 18 June to 31 July.
Discover the full slew of Nordic films exploring magic, the Nordic sun, nature and fearlessness below!
Another round / Drunk – 18 June at 22:00 CET at Vauxhall
Another round / Drunk (2020) by Thomas Vinterberg follows four Danish middle-aged friends (one of which is played by Mads Mikkelsen), working as school teachers and feeling stuck in their daily routine. Eager to feel more alive, they embark on an audacious experiment to explore if a constant level of alcohol in their blood will help them find greater freedom and meaning in life.
Woman at War (2018) by Benedikt Erlingsson centers on Halla (played by Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir), who is seemingly leading the settled and quiet life of a person in their fifties. But Halla is also a radical eco-activist who has declared a one-woman-war on the local aluminium industry. In the midst of her environmental crusade, Halla receives the surprising news that her application to adopt a child was approved, further complicating her fight.
Screening moved to 23 July due to weather changes!
The Juniper Tree – 2 July at 22:00 CET at Vauxhall
The Juniper Tree (1990) by Nietzchka Keene is set in medieval Iceland. Margit (played by Björk) and her older sister Katla flee for safety after their mother is burned alive for witchcraft. Finding shelter with Johan and his resentful young son, Jonas, the sisters help form an impromptu family unit that’s soon strained by Katla’s burgeoning sorcery.
Wild Strawberries – 9 July at 22:00 CET at Vauxhall
Wild Strawberries (1957) directed by Ingmar Bergman is a cinematic homage to the Swedish master Victor Sjöström playing Professor Isak Borg on his way to receive an honorary degree. His travel becomes a metaphor for a more personal exploration of the the self and his past forcing him to come to terms with his faults, and accept the inevitability of his approaching death depicted in surrealist imagery. The film also features two of the most iconic Swedish actresses Bibi Andersson and Ingrid Thulin, favorites in the work of Bergman.
Gods of Molenbeek – 13 July at 19:30 CET at Cinema Galeries
The documentary Gods of Molenbeek (2019) directed by Reetta Huhtanen is set in the Brussels neighbourhood of Molenbeek, labelled the ‘jihadi capital’ of Europe, and the 6 year-old boys Aatos and Amine are its main characters. The two boys are neighbors, but they have very different backgrounds; however they are grow very close and spend a lot of time together watching spiders, discovering black holes, quarreling over who gets to command the flying carpet that is going to take them to the lands of their ancestors and searching for answers to big questions. Aatos wants a god of his own, as Amine already has Allah but the question is further complicated by his friend Flo’s belief that people who believe in God are crazy to begin with.
Men and Chicken – 16 July at 22:00 CET at Vaux-Hall
Men and Chicken (2015) directed by Anders Thomas Jensen follows two very odd brothers (one played by Mads Mikkelsen) looking for their unknown family. A possible lead to their biological father brings them to an isolated and sparsely populated island where they are confronted with the horrible story of their origin and birth, explaining their inherent outwardness. The strangeness of the characters and of the story makes for a unique viewing.
Persona (1966) is probably Ingmar Bergman’s most famous film along with The Seventh Seal (1957). The film explores how two different people, Elisabet (Liv Ullman) and Alma (Bibi Andersson) can melt into each other, melding their personae and culminating in both confusion and (false?) identification. The process happens over the a number of weeks when the two are stranded together and alone in a beach house.
Midsommar (2019) is a folk horror directed by Ari Aster and featuring Florence Pugh, about a couple who travels to Northern Europe to visit a rural hometown’s famed Swedish Midsommar festival. Their experience begins as an idyllic and exotic retreat to quickly devolve into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.
Moomins on the Riviera – 27 July at 20:15 CET at Culturghem
In the Moomins on the Riviera (2014), directed by Xavier Picard and Hanna Hemilä, the beloved Moomins, Snorkmaiden and Little My, set sail for the Riviera in search of new adventures. After a fraught journey with menacing storms and desert island dangers, Snorkmaiden is dazzled by the attentions of a playboy and Moomin learns that jealousy’s sting is the most painful of all. When Moominpappa befriends an aristocrat and adopts the name ‘de Moomin’, an exasperated Moominmamma retires to the relative calm of their trusty old boat, to wait for her family to come to their senses. For the very first time, the unity of the Moomins is threatened.
This screening is free and will be accompanied by vegetarian food, so if you are interested, you should show up a bit earlier, at 19:00 CET. Donations for the food are welcome!
The happiest day in the life of Olli Maki – 30 July at 22:00 CET at Vaux-Hall
The happiest day in the life of Olli Maki (2016) by Juho Kuosmanen is the charming story of Olli Mäki, the famous Finnish boxer who had a shot at the 1962 World Featherweight title. But the film isn’t only about boxing, it is also about love, loyalty and finding yourself in the critical moments in life. The Finnish nature and rural culture also play a pivotal role in the journey of Olli Mäki.