Director: Amanda Kernell
Screenwriters: Amanda Kernell

Institute History

  • 2020 Sundance Film Festival


When a panicked, late-night call from her young son, Vincent, is abruptly disconnected before she can ascertain what’s gone wrong, Alice rushes north from her new home in Stockholm to check on the boy and his sister. She is distressed to realize, after months away, the extent to which her venomously bitter ex-husband has barred her (with the community’s support) from the children’s lives. Frantic and frustrated, Alice whisks the reluctant children away on an illicit trip to Tenerife, determined to reconnect with them and re-assert her role as mother and protector.

Writer/director Amanda Kernell (Sami Blood, 2017 Sundance Film Festival) returns with an intense portrait of the lawless force of an imperfect mother’s love. Sophia Olsson’s cinematography gorgeously captures how the changing physical landscape represents erratic, impassioned Alice’s shifting hopes, while portrayer Ane Dahl Torp allows the waves of her character’s emotions—uncertainty, desperation, and relief to have her children close—to wash, often wordlessly, over her face. Meanwhile, young actors Tintin Poggats Sarri and Troy Lundkvist do beautiful work as the damaged children waging their own internal battles.

— H.Z.

Screening Details

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