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Valley of Shadows
Australian Premiere
15+ (exemption)
2017 | 91 min | Drama, Mystery | Norway
Director: Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen
Cast: Adam Ekeli, Kathrine Fagerland, John Olav Nilsen, Jørgen Langhelle
Norwegian with English subtitles

An elegant and atmospheric film loosely based on the tale of ‘Peter and the Wolf’, Valley of Shadows follows a young boy, Aslak, who lives with his mother Astrid, his beloved dog Rapp and the deeply felt absence of his older, drug-addicted brother.

Strange things have been happening in his remote Norwegian village. Livestock is being slaughtered, and while the local farmers suspect a wolf, Aslak’s older friend Lasse tells him that the culprit is an ancient monster lurking in the forest. Aslak is a child with too much knowledge but not enough understanding. As his imagination grows, his dog Rapp runs away into the dense forest, sending Aslak on an odyssey to find him. 

A mood piece shot in 35mm, Valley of Shadows is instilled with an acute awareness of landscape at its most eerie, powerful, and foreboding. Exquisitely capturing Aslak’s bewildered perspective, the film presents details with an unsettling unfamiliarity, as if the adult world were indecipherable and packed with curious whose functions were simply unknowable. Featuring a spectral beauty and innocence, Valley of Shadows is a sophisticated movie dealing with mystery, loss, and acceptance.

An entrancing Norwegian gothic fable told with haunting visuals and striking tonal assurance.
Screen International
Toronto International Film Festival 2017