Icelandic director Baldvin Z’s second feature interweaves the story of three very different characters struggling with modern life in Reykjavik.
It screens in the Discovery section starting today, Films Boutique handles sales.
How big a hit is the film in Iceland?
We’re now the ninth biggest Icelandic film since the beginning of the Icelandic film industry. It’s the biggest film this year, even including films like The Hobbit. It’s a pleasant surprise for the whole industry of Iceland, because like many other countries the local films have not been doing as well at the box office. I think I just made the right film at the right time.
You worked with actor Thorsteinn Bachmann for three years developing this character of Mori the alcoholic poet. What is it you enjoy about working with actors?
It’s the character development. I get so much of talking about characters’ background stories, and when we do this preparation you see it coming alive on the screen.
I’m going back to teenagers [his first feature Jitters was a teenage story], it’s a love story between teenage girls but it takes place in a bad environment, they are like 15 years old and they are injecting this medicine, it’s an ugly world here in Iceland that nobody wants to talk about it. I’m going to a bad place.
We have this newspaper in Iceland where they show missing people’s photos. And I started seeing the same 15 year old on this page again and again. Iceland is not a big place. How can you go missing 15 times in one year? I started talking to these people and finding out what is going on with them. It was a world I didn’t know about here in Iceland and it interested me. It’s a love story of these two girls and it’s also a story of these families.