In the final instalment of our coverage of the Copenhagen Film Festival Nordic Award, we look at the final four films in the category, including the winner!

For coverage of the other films in the Nordic Award, see our posts part 1 and part 2.

Mr Graversen

Director: Michael Graversen | Denmark

A beautiful and touching film that sees its director reconnect with his parents over what was clearly a traumatic childhood that had left a lot of wounds open that needed healing.

With his father largely absent when he was child, his mother was left to pick up the pieces when her son was hospitalised and went through a gruelling few years of treatment.

The film starts with Michael surprising his parents one weekend at his childhood home, as they start packing up to move. We follow his emotional journey with his recently sober father, as he hears about his father’s past and what happened in his childhood, and attempts to rebuild the bridges and mend the resentment that has built up over many years.

This was a runner up in the POLITKEN Award (another category at the CPH:DOX festival) and we can see why.

Michael’s parents in Mr Graverson

Just Animals

Saila Kivelä, Vesa Kuosmanen / Finland

Just Animals is a story told in the first person and examines animal activism and when the ideals you believe so strongly in might end up turning against you when no one else is listening. The film is directed by Saila Kivelä and Vesa Kuosmanen. Unfortunately this one wasn’t available to us so we didn’t get chance to catch this one before the festival ended, but we hope to see it in the future.

Light Upon Light

Christian Suhr / Egypt, Denmark 

Another film that we just didn’t get chance to catch was Light Upon Light which takes us to Egypt on a philosophical trip from Cairo, along the Nile and into the desert in search for what light means as a religious concept in post-revolutionary Egypt.

*Nordic:DOX Award Winner*

The Last Human

Director: Ivalo Frank | Greenland

And the winner of the Nordic Documentary award is one that we did thankfully get to watch – The Last Human.

Filmed in the director’s homeland of Greenland, the film speaks to Greenlandic locals and scientists who tell the tale of life on earth and how it all began in a small fjord in this vast and scenic country.

The fascinating and exciting discovery of the earliest traces of life are contrasted with the worrying melting of the ice masses signalling the possible downfall of civilisation. Life started in Greenland and the end of life is also starting there.

The film is a beautiful tribute to Greenland, a touching insight into its inhabitants, and a fascinating scientific journey through the history of life on earth – and a stark reminder that us humans are not invincible and that the earth does not need us as much as we need the earth. A well-deserved winner.

We will be sharing more films and interviews with directors we have discovered through this wonderful festival. So if you are a fan of documentaries keep watching this space and we will be sure to bring some more fascinating stories from the world of film and documentary. See you next year CPH:DOX!

Feature by Alex & Claire Minnis