I attended the opening of the 25th edition of Nordisk Panorama friday night in Malmö, Sweden. It was a grand event because the organisers had picked the right film to start the festival. Below is the website description of Garden Lovers by Virpi Suutari, a film that is about love and full of love towards the characters, the many old couples, whose warm relationships still flourish, in beautiful garden surroundings. The film has a unique flow going from couple to couple, from situation to situation, some of them very ”Finnish” meaning wonderfully weird, always surprising, supported by constant wonderful camera movements (dop: Heikki Färm) and an amazing music score composed by Sanna Salmenkallio, who you will know from (among others) ”3 Rooms of Melancholia” by Pirjo Honkasalo.
The site description: …a documentary love story about Finnish couples who have a passion for gardening. The film with comic undertones looks at their stories behind the hedges. The garden provides a framework for tales of relationship conflicts and joys; it depicts the many ways in which life can flourish; it gives strength and unites, but it also becomes a meeting place for farewells. There is an invisible bond that grows between the couples in the film; they comment and comfort each other with their own stories.The film’s gardening stories celebrate fertility, play and love.
25 years of Nordisk Panorama. As one who was there at the first edition in Grimstad, Norway in 1990, I was asked to make a presentation of films from the 25 years that I liked, I called it ”from ”1700 Metres from the Future” till ”Belleville Baby” by Ulla Boje Rasmussen – and Mia Engberg. I ended the talk by showing a clip from ”3 Rooms of Melancholia”, for me the best Nordic documentary in the last 25 years.