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Home arrow CINEMA arrow [VENEZIA74] Under The Tree. Intervista a Hafsteinn Gunnar Siguršsson
[VENEZIA74] Under The Tree. Intervista a Hafsteinn Gunnar Siguršsson
di Marisa Santin   
35672-undir_tr__nu__under_the_tree__-_director_hafsteinn_gunnar_sigur__sson___gudmundur_ludviksson.jpgDirector and scriptwriter Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson won the Best Movie Award at the Turin Film Festival in 2011 with his first feature, Either Way. Three years later, he directed Paris of the North, set in a remote 200-people Icelandic village.


All characters react differently to the pain they have inside. What about Atli and Inga?
If you look at the two main characters, Atli and his mother Inga, they act very differently to their inner problems. Atli’s problem is that he isn’t acting at all, just sweeping everything under the carpet, not being capable of dealing with his inner emotions and sorrow. This leads to an event, which brings an end to his relationship as he finds himself in a fierce separation with the mother of his child. Inga, on the other hand, is dealing with severe mental issues after the disappearance of Atli’s brother. The state of denial she’s in and not being able to deal with her sorrow, comes out in very hostile acts towards the people around her and especially her neighbors.


It seems female characters feel more strongly the need to fight things out. Men, on the other hand, hide their head in the sand…

In the beginning of the story, the women are the driving force behind the chain of events but this gradually changes as the story unfolds. I wanted to write strong female characters, who are the catalysts for the turning points in the story. This can be read with reference to the Icelandic Sagas, where we have very strong female characters, who are often the ones orchestrating behind the scenes in conflicts between families.


Eybjorg, Agnes and Inga are like three different faces of motherhood (expecting a child, the responsibility of a divorced parent, and the loss of an adult son). Is motherhood a topic of your film?

Yes, motherhood is definitely one of the topics of the film and as you point out, the different aspects of motherhood is what connects the three main female characters. Although, I would rather say the family in general is a bigger theme and the tree of course being a symbol for the family. This is a film about relationships between people who live under the same roof and their relationship with their next door neighbors, how living in a community with others must always be a compromise to some extend and what happens when we are not willing to compromise.


Misunderstandings, anger, grudge: the origin of all wars? 

Misunderstandings, yes, but mainly a lack of understanding. We can easily read this story as a conflict between two countries or ethnic groups. And what is war other than a neighborly dispute on a very big scale? A dispute which is very often rooted in a lack of understanding.






The German pioneers in Kraftwerk for their pure and minimal aesthetics.


The American author Raymond Carver for the portrayal of the mundane in his writing.


My grandfather, the painter Hafsteinn Austmann, for imprinting a sense of structure and color.



di Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigur›sson
con Steinflór Hróar Steinflórsson, Edda Björgvinsdóttir, Sigur›ur Sigurjónsson, Lára Jóhanna Jónsdóttir
(Islanda, Danimarca, Polonia, Germania, 89’) 



Un grande e bellissimo albero piantato in cortile oscura con la sua ombra il giardino del vicino di casa. Sotto la sua chioma si consumano in crescendo i dissidi di due famiglie confinanti, tra telecamere installate, animali domestici che spariscono misteriosamente, danni arrecati alle proprietà e, come se non bastasse, un uomo è stato visto aggirarsi nei dintorni con una motosega… L’Islanda a Venezia con una “commedia drammatica”, grottesca e venata di humor nero./ A big, beautiful tree looks at petty neighbourhood fights from up above. Under its canopy, a crescendo of tension between two next-door neighbours: CCTV cameras, pets that disappear, property damage, and, as if this wasn’t enough, a man has been seen wandering around, chainsaw in hand. Iceland in Venice with a grotesque ‘drama comedy’ tinted in black humour.