Oh boy – there has been an overwhelming amount of Nordic entertainment to discover this month! So get ready for a bumper pack of TV shows, movies, documentaries, and even a podcast in our August round-up…
THE HERO’S JOURNEY TO THE THIRD POLE | Apple TV
First and foremost we have been delighted to see that The Hero’s Journey to the Third Pole has been released on iTunes which means people can finally get the opportunity to see one of favourite documentaries from CPH:DOX.
It truly is a beautiful and important piece of work that focuses on the struggles but also sometimes ‘superpowers’ that come with mental health disorders, particularly bipolar disorder. Icelandic musician Hogni travels to Nepal to see an old friend and help raise awareness of the condition in a culture where it is little understood. A touching and musical journey that has stayed with us since our first watch earlier in the year.
The film is available to buy on Apple TV for £3.99 which is a much better option than renting it at the £5.49 price tag! Go seek this one out.
OPEN HEARTS | MUBI
Over on MUBI Susan Bier’s Open Hearts (one of her entries into Dogme 95 from 2002) is being shown. A drama which sees the lives of two couples get tragically entangled after an accident leaves one of the couple’s husbands paralysed and the partner of who was responsible starts to have an affair with the victim’s wife. Yes, you read that right. The film has a great cast with Mads Mikkelsen, Sonja Richter, and Nikolaj Lie Kaas.
Out now on the MUBI platform
DOG’S DON’T WEAR PANTS | Film4
Then over on Film4 this weekend you can find a repeat showing of one of our favourite movies Dogs Don’t Wear Pants. Best described as a BDSM love story; there is sorrow, the darkest comedic touches, and a great ending! If you haven’t watched this film before and are a little unsure then why not read our non-spoiler interview with the lead actress Krista Kosonen, which we released last year.
Catch this from today on Film4 / More4
BETRAYED | Amazon Prime
Finally, on Amazon Prime you can find the hard-hitting Betrayed, which Norwegian actor Jacob Oftebro recently won an award for. The movie is based on a true story in the 1940s, following a Jewish family’s heart-breaking experience as they are deported out of their hometown of Oslo to the concentration camps of Auschwitz. There won’t be a dry eye in the house by the end of this one.
Available now on Amazon Prime
STELLA BLOMKVIST | Sundance Now
This series was a delightful find and definitely worth the free trial on this newly discovered platform. With a second season due soon, now was a great time for us to catch the first of Stella Blomkvist, originally out in 2017.
Apologies if you know this series and have it already ticked it off your Nordic watchlist. If you haven’t, then you’ll enjoy this fantastic crime series which is a punchy mix of sexy, violent, and very comical at times – with a wonderful catty script.
Heida Reed truly owns her lead role in the series as a lawyer who gets on the wrong side of some shady politicians creating all sorts of chaos over the course of six episodes, cleverly spread into three stories but that are all connected.
Access paid-for platform Sundance Now through Amazon
THIN ICE | Sundance Now
Following on Stella’s heels we caught up with Thin Ice – a series that features a huge ensemble of familiar faces from Lena Endre, Nicholas Bro, and Alexander Karim to name a few (it is good fun picking out who is from which show).
The series was watched at quite a relevant time – as the month started in real life with more stark warnings of climate change, so too does Thin Ice. Starting with a dramatic kidnapping of a political advisor, while on a trip to get a treaty signed by a handful of countries in Greenland to prevent a huge oil drilling that could wreak havoc on our climate. An investigation ensues, internet connections start getting cut and witnesses are being killed…all it seems, to prevent the treaty from being signed.
Fingers are pointed in many directions and by the end, it feels like the finale of the whodunnit movie Clue. But it is without doubt good fun, with breath-taking scenery, and – despite the fictional threats – there is the reminder of a one very real environmental threat which makes the series hit home a bit.
Access paid-for platform Sundance Now through Amazon
POST MORTEM: NO ONE DIES IN SKARNES | Netflix
Lastly, over on Netflix the arrival of Post Mortem: No One Dies In Skarnes at the end of the month was one we have been eagerly awaiting due to it’s intriguing plot.
Described as a possible ‘vampire noir’ by one of the stars Elias Holmen Sørensen who we got to speak to earlier in the month, this dark comedy is something a little different, but an absolute bloody hoot (and emphasis on bloody).
Released 26th August on Netflix
As well as the climate change crime drama series Thin Ice this month, we felt it right to also share a documentary that was released in August too, one that makes Thin Ice a lot less farcical than one might think.
White Paper is directed by Paninnguaq Lind Jensen and David Heilmann Ottossen and in a review by Greenlandic producer Emile Peronard, he notes:
White Paper captures uniquely a pivotal time in Greenland’s history. The documentary arrives with pitch perfect timing and is a must-see for anyone with any interest in the future for Kalaallit Nunaat and its people.
A very important one to watch to understand more about Greenlandic history – watch the full documentary here:
Something that popped up on Nordic Watchlist’s radar this month is a great listen for fans of Icelandic movies and therefore right up our street!
The excellent podcast series by the name of Kvikmyndapod (a bit of a mouthful but all is explained in the opening episode), discusses different Icelandic movies per episode, including the likes of Reykjavik 101, Under The Tree, and Rams.
The series is hosted by film fan Rob, who picks the films and then talks about them with friend Ellie, who is new to all things Icelandic. This creates a great partnership, as the discussion is enjoyable for seasoned Scandinavian film buffs as well as more Nordic novices. Together they go on a bit of a deep dive, scratching beneath the surface of the film and seeking to learn more.
It is certainly recommended to watch the movies before you listen, as though this is not entirely spoilertastic, you will certainly have much more fun watching the movie first then hearing their opinions after.
What have you discussed and enjoyed this month from the Nordic region? Comment below or send us a message on social media!
Feature by Alex Minnis