This tale of five male friends in a Swedish coastal town blurs realism and fiction to create a palpable sense of doom. Astonishing debut from director Jesper Ganslandt, who plays himself in the film.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2007
In the Swedish coastal town of Falkenberg, five male friends spend their final days of summer wondering about their future and reminiscing about the past. Holger wants to stay in Falkenberg forever. His brother John doesn't say much. Jörgen battles boredom by breaking into houses. Jesper is a loner who visits his elderly father. David keeps a diary of his inner thoughts. From this simple tableau, director/co-writer Jesper Ganslandt has fashioned an astonishing debut in which he and his pals play characters based upon themselves. This blurring of realism and fiction is initially unnoticed, as the narrative ambles along, the characters each responding to the small town ennui. However, a sense of doom soon becomes palpable. By casting his characters' real-life family members within the confines of his fiction, the director places the audience in a mindscape of emotional quicksand. Reminiscent in tone to the fiction of the late W.G. Sebald, Falkenberg Farewell seems to push the edges of cinema across a hitherto untraversed boundary.