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The Swan Svanurinn

Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir / Iceland / 2017 / 91 min / Icelandic

On a ‘forced summer exile’ to a farm a young Icelandic girl begins to realise that the adult world is far more complicated and callous than she has ever anticipated.

On a ‘forced summer exile’ to a farm a young Icelandic girl begins to realise that the adult world is far more complicated and callous than she has ever anticipated.

The story follows Sól, a 9-year-old girl who is sent to distant relatives for a summer to work and to mature at their countryside farm. For Sól there is an added element: she's been sent away to the farm as punishment for shoplifting, and because her parents have split. The animals charm her, and she befriends a mysterious farmhand. The more acquainted she becomes with the ways of the farm, though, the more contradictions she notices, especially the uncle and aunt’s constant claim that nature’s laws are the reasons for their actions.

“In the film, the farmer and his wife stand for the very human desire to "keep house" in the wilderness that is human nature, whereas the farmhand stands for the opposite: a life of chaos and emotional freedom. This conflict is one of the main threads in the film, and one that both the girl and the farmers' daughter are struggling with; this conflict between wanting to be “normal” versus facing your true, complicated nature.” (Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir)

Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir

Born in 1984 in Reykjavík. Graduate of the Columbia University Film MFA program. She taught screenwriting at the Columbia University Undergraduate Film Department. She also holds a BA in comparative literature from the University of Iceland and the Sorbonne – Paris IV University. After graduating she worked as a freelance book and film critic. Her first feature film, The Swan, is an adaptation of a novel by Guðbergur Bergsson.

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