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Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson, Director, Paris of the North (París norðursins).

Festival Section: Official Selection – Competition.

FRED catches up with filmmaker Hasteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson to talk about his latest film PARIS OF THE NORTH (París norðursins), presented in the official selection competition of the 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

Teacher Hugi, who resides in a village in eastern Iceland, receives an unexpected visit from his relatively young and largely estranged father. Their differing personalities – 37-year-old, recovering alcoholic Hugi is involved with the local temperance center, while his father betrays a tendency toward hedonism – become the source of multiple problems, and their ill-matched cohabitation undergoes various phases. Rather than emphasizing the drama of the plot, Sigurðsson prioritizes the creation of an emotional atmosphere for this story of gradual rapprochement. The central characters’ belated adolescence is a key factor in the process of their reunion as they discover heretofore unknown aspects of their personalities and, along with it, an understanding for one another. The dialogue here is often helpful in revealing the characters’ natures, even in the case of the supporting roles, without in any way disadvantaging the concise depiction of the environment or the musical component, which greatly contributes to the narrative’s melancholy mood.

Reporter: Matt Micucci.

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