5 Movies Playing At Stockholm Film Festival 2021 This Week

Annually held in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, Stockholm Film Festival has proved to be a crucial event showcasing a diverse selection of movies from around the world. Founded in 1990, the festival has given chance to showcase visual storytelling to a wide range of filmmakers globally and especially helped in allocating funds for aspiring female directors through various scholarships.

Apart from being a welcoming platform for indie filmmakers, Stockholm Film Festival has been attended by acclaimed directors ranging from Roman Polanski, David Lynch, Yorgos Lanthimos, Ang Lee, and even Wong Kar Wai who went on to receive the prestigious Visionary Award back in 2008.

This year as well, many feature and documentary films from around the world have been submitted to the event which is scheduled to be held till 21st November 2021. So, let’s look at the film that was showcased today.

Cusp ( 2021 ) – Isabel Bethencourt, Parker Hill

This documentary film is shot in Texas and revolves around three teenage girls, their journey into adolescence, and the hurdles along their way as they navigate through trauma and descend into adulthood.

The trailer doesn’t really make much sense considering the fact that it tries way too hard to sell the story with inspiring tracks and overused techniques we’re used to in documentaries today.

The film was funded by Tribeca Film Institute and New York University which is actually the institute that director Isabel graduated from.

Cusp first premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and helped the craters bag the award in the category of Emerging Filmmaker Special Jury Award. Maybe this was the reason Showtime was quick to acquire the distribution rights to the movie. So, maybe don’t rush on renting this documentary as it might soon premiere on Showtime’s YouTube channel for free.

Queen of Glory ( 2021 ) – Nana Mensah

Actress Nana Mensah might not have made a mark in Hollywood despite working in projects like `13 Reasons Why’ and ‘The Chair’ but it sure seems like she’s trying to make a statement with her directorial debut.

Although born in Connecticut, her ethnic roots lie in Ghana and she has certainly chosen to tell a personal story resembling her Ghanaian-American experience.

It’s quite interesting that she is the main lead and producer in the movie with a plot that centers around the death of her grandmother and the cultural gap she experiences. In a way, it almost kinda feels like Nana tried to make a movie that is something close to Lulu Wang’s acclaimed hit The Funeral that centered around changing cultural identity.

Three Floors – Nanni Moretti

Cast : Margherita Buy, Riccardo Scamarcio, Alba Rohrwacher, Adriano Giannini

Drama films about the lives of people interconnected by an event or a place are a very prevalent formula in filmmaking that makes for a compelling story. Films like 21 Grams and the Dekalog series of the master Krzysztof Kieślowski have proven that already and Nanni Moretti’s latest movie wants to continue this technique as well.

The title is literally Three Floors and the plot centers around the people living under the same roof who go through the ups and downs of life. Upon watching the trailer the story also seems to be about isolation and paranoia that one character faces in absence of her partner. So, maybe this is more than a soap opera-like drama.

Ballad of a White Cow ( 2021 ) – Behtash Sanaeeha

Cast: Maryam Moghaddam , Alireza Sanifar

By the sheer look at the trailer of Ballad Of A White Cow, it’s obvious from the beginning that the movie is a tale of human condition and resilience in the face of challenges from society. Directed by Behtash, who dropped out from completing MA studies to make movies instead, his past movies like Risk Of Acid Rain ( 2016) showcased unfamiliar friendships as well.

This movie is about a married woman whose husband is executed by the state for a crime only to find out later that he was wrongly accused. Caught up in financial turmoil with a daughter to take of, she suddenly is offered help from a mysterious man who claims that he owes a debt to her husband and wants to help her in return.

Although I haven’t seen the movie, I can’t help but theorize that maybe the man had something to do with the crime the woman’s husband was accused of. Do let me know if you end up seeing the movie at the festival!

Babi Yar. Context ( 2021) – Sergei Loznitsa

The Holocaust and the reign of the Nazis left many scars in countries across Europe. The scars are still being portrayed by many mainstream and indie filmmakers because the damage was done was way too much. In 1941, Nazis committed several atrocities upon the people of Babyn Yar in Soviet Ukraine especially Jews, and almost more than 100 thousand people were murdered.

The first and bloodiest of mass killings took place on 29 to 30th September 1941 where the Jews were taken to Babi Yar, a ravine that turned into a mass grave. The video placed above gives a bit of a glimpse into the horrific events that followed.

So, Sergei Loznitsa’s documentary that is slated to premiere at the festival gives an extended view into the tragedy with real footage preserved at the Babi Yar Holocaust Memorial Centre that was lent to the filmmaker. Suffice to say, the experience will be a really uncomfortable one but a deep dive into the worst nature that people in power displayed during war.

You can check out Sergei’s other filmography and be rest assured most of them deal with war, history, and stuff that remind the dark side of humanity.

Hell Bender – Zelda Adams, Toby Poser, John Adams

  • Cast: Zelda Adams, Toby Poser

A 16-year-old girl suffers from a rare illness that results in her seclusion from the world as she lives with her mother. The movie has been getting really rave reviews from critics and audiences since it premiered at Fantasia Festival.

On a weird note, there appears to be a musical side to this twisted gore and horror fantasy and even Kieran Culkin shows up towards the third act. The visuals are very striking as well and without giving away too much, let me say straight away that it’s destined to become a cult horror movie.

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The founder, researcher & content Manager of MagzMandala trying my best to balance passion and life. I only understand movies and things hard to monetize.
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