This text is written by Magnificent7 Festival directors Svetlana and Zoran Popovic:
A magnificent visual poem by the young Scandinavian director Karl Olsson, the author of a unique style, that enchanted the audience at “The Magnificent Seven” in his exceptional “Patrimonium”. In “Vintersaga”, he develops and perfects his directing even more by creating impressive sights captured by long, firmly fixed, visually complex one shot scenes with participants trapped in time and space.
“Vintersaga” is a Swedish song from the eighties known throughout Scandinavia, a kind of Sweden’s melancholic winter anthem. Carl Olsson transposes the lyrics of the song into 24 scenes shot all over Sweden during a long, dark winter. This remarkable fresco of the country and people, trapped by cold and melancholy, develops into a masterfully created collective portrait of a nation in the widest range of generations, social classes, events and sceneries. As the film unfolds in front of us, it discreetly but increasingly becomes a modern visual Scandinavian fairy tale about a snow-covered kingdom where time stands still. Observed always from a precisely chosen distance, with an intense, deeply pulsating rhythm, these enchanting scenes draw us into that melancholic world and the gloomy states of the Nordic soul in the darkness of endlessly long nights. But this observation does not escape a refined feeling for social analysis and the weight of existential questions about the meaning of everything. The author’s elegance and flawless visual process integrate a deep understanding of people who are in front of the camera, filled with the feeling of being free to be who they are.
The verses of the chorus of the cult “Vintersaga” are silently present in the strange, enchanting, disturbing scenes: “It is then the big melancholy rolls in, and from the ocean blows an icy, bleak wind.”
Sweden, Denmark 2023