MOVIE OF THE WEEK April 14, 2023: HILMA

One of modern art’s most significant — and simultaneously least well-known — figures gets her moment in the spotlight in Lasse Hallström’s lovingly filmed biopic Hilma. The film tells the story of Hilma af Klint, a Swedish painter whose affinity for mysticism and the spiritual world led her to create large-scale abstract art that you’d swear was influenced by Kandinsky … if you didn’t know with certainty that af Klint’s work predated his.

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HILMA – Review by Jennifer Merin

Hilma is a sumptuous truth-based period drama that chronicles the life and work of Swedish artist Hilma aft Klint (1862 – 1944). Hilma was a brilliant and innovative artist whose abstract paintings preceded those of the better-known Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky (1866 – 1944), who has, until recently, been credited by art historians with the invention of abstract art.

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HILMA – Review by Nikki Fowler

Swedish writer and director Lasse Hallström’s new truth–based period drama, Hilma, shares a vibrant and mystical take on the extraordinary and secluded artist Hilma af Klint, exploring her dedication to spiritualism and painting. Hilma was a radical painter in early 1900s Sweden, making her the first abstract painter in Western art history. Hilma was ahead of her time as her paintings predate the likes of artists such as Kandinsky, Mondrian, and Malevich; however, as a woman, she was denied the same recognition, only to have her work finally unboxed in 1967. Kandinsky was, until recently, acknowledged as the inventor of abstract art. Hilma is a captivating must-watch.

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PLEASURE – Review by Jennifer Green

Swedish director Ninja Thyberg’s debut feature Pleasure pushes the boundaries between objective storytelling and voyeurism, and it does so with a heavy dose of realism, including a majority of the cast coming from the adult film industry itself, which makes the film both absorbing and very hard to watch. It’s impossible not to feel a sense of dread throughout Pleasure, and that is exactly the point.

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KNOCKING – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

After fifteen years of directing short films and documentaries, Swedish filmmaker Frida Kempff has turned to feature fictional filmmaking with her suffocatingly intimate portrait of mental illness, Knocking. A film both simultaneously subtle and confronting, with Knocking Kempff achieves the perfect balancing act that holds the humanity of those living with mental illness such as Molly at its core.

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BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE – Review by Diane Carson

The Swedish film Britt-Marie Was Here begins with the title character asking, “How do you live a life?” As deeply philosophical as this sounds, her answer is an amusing, disarming exploration. For Britt-Marie, a sixty-three-year old housewife, discovers her husband Kent’s long-term affair—at his hospital bed after he had a heart attack.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 2 -9: SAMI BLOOD

motw logo 1-35Writer/director Amanda Kernell’s thoughtful, beautifully crafted first feature is an intimate, compelling coming of age tale of a Sami girl who must choose between her denigrated indigenous culture and mainstream Swedish lifestyle. Sami Blood is a heart-wrenching eye opener. Continue reading…

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SAMI BLOOD — Review by Susan Wloszczyna

When a film transports you to a society you never knew existed, it can prove magically transcendent while incredibly moving. Add an adolescent female discovering what she is capable of and you have me hooked. That happened last year with The Eagle Huntress, a documentary about a Mongolian girl’s singular feats with her regal bird of prey. And it happens again in a far different arena with the 14-year-old female Laplander who is the focus of Sami Blood, a Swedish coming-of-age drama handled with an impressive delicacy of purpose by first-time filmmaker Amanda Kernell.

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SAMI BLOOD — Review by Cate Marquis

In her feature film debut SAMI BLOOD, director/writer Amanda Kernell offers a moving coming-of-age story of two sisters, members of the reindeer-herding indigenous Sami people, in 1930s Sweden. Told from the viewpoint of the older sister, a bright 14-year-old who dreams of becoming a teacher, the films depicts their experiences with the dominate Swedish culture who called her people Lapps, as a time when racial prejudice as well as eugenics, the pseudo-science of race biology which laid the groundwork for the Nazis, was common.

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