The heart of the film is the sundrenched kitchen garden. Towards the street in the west are dense lilac bushes; on the northern side a half-timbered house; a raspberry thicket serves as a border to the southern neighbour and a lush honeysuckle grows on the fence to the parkland in the east. There are out-houses, a chicken run, a bricked -in corner for compost and a herb garden. The giant hawthorn lives side by side with the gnarled old apple tree, and then, there is a throng of birds at all times of the year - the residents, the casuals and the migrants.
With beautiful sequence of shots and meticulously authentic sound, Mikael Kristersson explores the greatness of the small objects in his own garden in Falsterbo, an old village in the south of Sweden. We see the real world from the perspective of the great tit, the wasp and the cabbage butterfly, and we human beings as one species among many.
Jury motivation: In his third documentary film, Lightyear, Mikael Kristersson captures a year in his own garden. With sharp eyes – and especially with keen ears – he extends and reinvigorates the nature-film genre. His great affinity for the subject enables him to depict the reality that surrounds us, but about which we are almost entirely ignorant. For Kristersson, there is no clear dividing line between raw nature and human culture – he considers humanising animals as absurd as romanticising "the wild". Lightyear sensitively endows all of the garden’s inhabitants with equal dignity, toppling humans from their self-appointed role as the crowning glory of creation. His insights have particular resonance in 2009, the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth and 150 years since the publication of On the Origin of Species.
National jury: Eva af Geijerstam, Tony Forsberg