BRATTLEBORO >> In honor of Vermont's very own Social Democrat, Bernie Sanders, Latchis Arts presents a trio of films from Scandinavia on weekends in June, starting on June 11. All films in the series are by donation, with proceeds benefiting Latchis Arts.
Even with some of the highest standards of living in the world and ranked as the happiest people around, Scandinavians still find plenty of subjects to tackle. First, from Iceland, a true tale of politics gone amuck in the acclaimed film "Gnarr," followed by the struggles of a biodynamic farmer in Denmark, seeking to preserve a historical breed in "Good Things Await." Last in the series, escape to an adventure on the high seas in "Kon Tiki" a narrative retelling of a Norwegian explorer's historic crossing of the Pacific in a balsa raft.
The series opens on just the right note for our campaign-obsessed times, with "Gnarr," presented this Saturday at 4 p.m. Directed by Gaukur Úlfarsson and starring Jón Gnarr, "Gnarr" is a documentary from 2010 telling the hilarious true story of the comedian who ran for mayor of Iceland's largest city. But what starts a joke suddenly becomes serious when people start to believe – against all odds – that he might just be the best man for the job. With Iceland falling on hard times, Jon Gnarr decided to invent a new political party – the subtly named "Best Party" – and run for office in order to mock the squabbling left and right.
The series continues on Saturday, June 18, at 4 p.m. with "Good Things Await," a 2014 documentary from Denmark. Niels Stokholm is one of the most idealistic farmers in Denmark. He runs the biodynamic farm with his wife, Rita, and from their farm, Thorshøjgaard, they distribute products to some of the best restaurants in the world. But not everyone is fond of Thorshøjgaard and their holistic methods. Authorities and bureaucracy threaten to close down the farm. Director Phie Ambo follows their struggle to make sure that they are not the last to do agriculture the way they do, but some of the first.
The series concludes on Saturday, June 25, at 4 p.m., with "KON TIKI." This version is a feature-length re-telling from 2012 depicting Thor Heyerdahl's historic attempt to cross the Pacific Ocean in a balsawood raft. In 1947, Heyerdahl set out prove that South Americans in Pre-Columbian times could have crossed the ocean and settled on Polynesian Islands. After financing the trip with loans and donations, Heyerdahl and five men set off an on an epic 101-day, 8000-kilometer trip. Heyerdahl filmed the trip, and his film became the Academy Award-winning documentary of 1951. This version was Norway's 2012 Oscar entry for Best Foreign Film.
Proceeds from donations to the films benefit Latchis Arts. For information, visit latchisarts.org.