Chemo Brain

Institute History

  • 2020 Sundance Film Festival


Twenty-eight-year-old Oliver spends his time studying, hanging out with friends, and trying to charm his new girlfriend, Signe, when he finds out that his lower-back pain is actually testicular cancer. Rapidly shifting from mindless living to becoming a hospital regular, chemotherapy sets him on a path of introspection. Welcome distraction, if minimal nurturing, comes via his best friend, his father, and fellow patient Eva, who is facing her own diagnosis with flair. Oliver struggles between maintaining his happy-go-lucky toehold in the life he shaped for himself and honing in on what will ultimately be best for him in the world he has been thrust into.

Danish filmmaker Kristian Håskjold crafts this story with an intimate touch, bringing to light a diagnosis that is a dark reality for many. Drawing out the authenticity of a specific experience, he’s created a journey rich with relatable interactions, unexpected physical and emotional revelations, and a quiet reflection on life.

The Sundance Film Festival is excited to present the first season of this personal and contemplative short-form series.

Screens with Embrace
Against the backdrop of Oakland, California, Iranian American medical student Kat tries to save her Iranian family by taking on a surprising side hustle. The show is a culturally diverse, quasi-surrealist dramedy that captures the ever-increasing need for human connection and the subsequent commodification of it.

— D.C.

Screening Details

  • Section: Indie Episodic Programs
  • Film Type: Episodic
  • Country: Denmark
  • Language: Danish
  • Run Time: 78 min.
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