A brother odyssey set in a rural chalk-mining community during a cold winter. The younger sibling Emil distils moonshine made from chemicals stolen from the factory. Emil is an outsider, an oddball, only accepted by the mining community because of his older brother Johan. Emil longs to be wanted and loved. When a fellow worker becomes sick, Emil and the moonshine are prime suspects. A violent feud gradually erupts between him and the tight-knit mining community. At the same time, Emil feels betrayed by his brother when he finds out that Anna, the subject of his unfulfilled desires, prefers Johan.
In a time when the film industry is characterised by conformity and secure solutions, Winter Brothers is something of a breath of fresh air. Director Hlynur Pálmason experiments with strange image combinations and discomforting soundscapes, and although Winter Brothers tells a story of some kind, the experience is based on sensations, associations, and dream interpretations. What do we do with a story about two brothers working on a lime mill in a bleak winter landscape? That’s up to us. Pálmason invites us on an excursion, but has no free tickets – the audience is the co-writer of a journey of discovery to an unknown land.
National Jury members: Per Juul Carlsen, Jacob Wendt Jensen, Eva Novrup Redvall