Nordic docs – Wet and Steamy!

Becky Beamer

Like many, I am very excited about the Silverdocs line up this year.  Yes, I want to see FREAKONOMICS. Yes, I want to see STONES IN EXILE. Yes, I want to see FAMILY AFFAIR.

But given the number and diversity of films shown at Silverdocs each year there are always combinations, perhaps patterns, that emerge to surprise and delight. One such group in this year’s festival comprises the nine features and three shorts from Sweden, Finland and Denmark.

Sky Sitney, Silverdocs Artistic Director, has noted, “[the]…Nordic films in the lineup…take us deep into the Nordic psyche – found in saunas (STEAM OF LIFE), living rooms (LIVING ROOM OF THE NATION) and swimming pools (MEN WHO SWIM). While there is a great sense of joy, curiosity and humor in the films, there is also a strong sense of ‘Nordic Angst’ that may resonate more deeply with American audiences as we find ourselves reflecting on our own response to the sometimes angst-filled world of today.”

STEAM OF LIFE (see trailer) received a lot of praise when it was shown at another popular film festival – Hot Docs.

“What makes the film spectacular is not the gawking at naked men part. It’s the fact that these men, who come from a culture that privileges the strong, silent, tough-guy type, all open up in the sauna and share honest, frank stories about their lives.” READ MORE

It turns out Steam of Life would be one of just two films I saw over the course of the week that was actually shot on film (scrappy 16mm, no less) and really did warrant the tearful pleas to see it projected on a large screen.” READ MORE

Want to know even more? Check out these interviews with the directors, Jonas Berghäll and Mika Hotakainen

Then, there is LIVING ROOM OF THE NATION. (see trailer) This film received strong support at yet another well known doc film festival – SXSW.

“Finlanders are known more for their buttoned-up silence than their willingness to share their most intimate thoughts. But as producer Sami Jahnukainen noted at the film’s first North American screening here March 15, a single camera placed in living rooms across Finland produced hours of footage of Finlanders addressing their deepest, darkest thoughts. The end result? An engaging documentary, lovingly edited in a way that allows each character to form his or her own narrative.” READ MORE

I’m particularly looking forward to viewing MEN WHO SWIM. I mean who doesn’t want to see men’s synchronized swimming ?  Seriously! OK – I may be biased as I participated on a synchronized swimming team – the Flamingos – as a child.   Check out the trailer – it’s a MUST SEE! …. Funny – inspiring – quirky – and, oh yeah,  excellent synchronization! Click here for schedules and tickets.

On behalf of the Silver Docs Blog Team – – – I’ll see you at the show!

Cheers & Beers,

Becky Beamer

Writer – Doc & a Drink


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