Winter Brothers


Although Winter Brothers is an extremely terrestrial film—all frost and forest and animal desire—at times it can feel so distant and disembodied that it is almost like watching science-fiction. Shot by the supremely talented Maria Von Hausswolff in meticulously composed, photograph-like frames, Winter Brothers is the aggressively anti-hygge debut by Copenhagen-based Icelander Hlynur Pálmason.

Brothers Johan (Simon Sears) and Emil (Elliott Crosset Hove, who deservedly won best actor at the Locarno Film Festival for this role) live in a small mining village in Denmark, a place so remote and alien that it is seemingly adrift from the rest of the world. Together they steal chemicals from the mine to make an amber-colored homebrew that they sell to colleagues—until the mixture ends up poisoning one man, landing Emil in dangerous trouble with the boss. Winter Brothers is a film that excavates manhood, certainly, but also the adolescent impulse that makes us pull the trigger of a rifle, if only to hear how it sounds.

Past Screenings