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by Carl Olsson


In the port of Malmö, a storm is brewing as young car enthusiasts gather to burn out their tyres. In a rain-swept Gothenburg, a youth football coach shouts instructions to the kids. In a brutalist Stockholm car park, a man injects amphetamine, and in the Gulf of Bothnia, an 8,000-ton icebreaker ploughs rhythmically through weather-worn sullied drift ice. In these harsh and inhospitable surroundings, we find empathetic, somewhat innocent human beings of different ages and from all walks of life trying to connect with their imposed world and each other. Our characters are observers of their own lives, striving for purpose. We find pockets of counterculture, expressed through smoking rubber, bag-in-box wine, and gothic outfits, but also members of the establishment such as elderly royalists expressing their deep love for the king. They all seem somehow alienated from their surroundings, a merciless nature, and a harsh society. Playing with contrasts and ambiguities on many levels, Vintersaga is a truly cinematic, Hopperesque interpretation of the famous Swedish 1984 song Vintersaga. In 24 meticulously framed situations, sometimes via surreal tableaux but also through motion, it observes with close attention both trivial and grand, mostly human stories, with a rich blend of souls juggling doubts, memories, and dreams. Ultimately the bitter cold winds shape a nation towards a bittersweet melancholy, not only sadness, but also full of longing, wilfully reminding us of a shared humanity.

original title: Vintersaga
country: Sweden
sales agent: CAT&Docs
year: 2023
genre: documentary
directed by: Carl Olsson
film run: 82'
cinematography by: Mathias Døcker
film editing: Sofie Steenberger
music: Ted Ström, Albin Ström, Johan Ström
producer: Antonio Russo Merenda
co-producer: Kristina Börjeson, Jenny Luukkonen, Katja Härkönen, Anne Köhncke
production: Ginestra Film, Film i Väst, Filmpool Nord AB, Final Cut for Real

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