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Karitas is a single mother of four who desperately tries to make ends meet. Fighting a losing battle with her ex-husband for custody over her three daughters, she's oblivious to what's going on with her twelve year old son Gudmund, a victim of brutal bullying at school and whose life is on the fast track to destruction. Gudmund's only friend in the world is Marinó, a schizophrenic in his forties, who lives with his mother in the same apartment building. When Marinó realizes that his mother has secretly been dating a stranger, Marino starts to lose grip on reality. Gardar is an underworld enforcer who makes a mess at work and as a result his twin brother Georg is beaten up. Exiled both from the underworld and his family, Gardar has to make a fresh start in life. He decided to seek out his family, Gardar has to make a fresh start in life. He decided to seek out his son Gudmund whom he has never seen but the straight and narrow is a though path to followWritten by
Icelandic Film Centre
Gritty contemporary tale does not leave one untouched
I saw this movie at the 2007 International Film Festival of Rotterdam. The director and lead actor were present at the screening for a Q&A.
Garðar, a short-fused blond guy with a big dog makes his living by threatening people and beating them up.
Karítas is a young divorced nurse. She parents four kids. The three younger daughters seem to find their way. Her son, the oldest has no friends. He plays football with Marino, a mentally handicapped man in his thirties.
Marino has a mysterious, maybe violent past. He also works in the convenience store of his uncle. The uncle is gay, but in the closet.
This is how the main elements of this group of characters start out. Like its sibling movie Parents, Children has many small intertwined stories.
In direct comparison to Parents, this story is more grim and violent. Children focuses on people who live "on the wrong side of the tracks", whereas Parents plays in the suburbs.
The acting is superb and engaging. Even though all of the characters have an evil twist or vice of some significance, it is not hard to take their side at some point in the story.
I can recommend this to anyone who wants to experience heartfelt emotions in a realistic, gritty contemporary tale. Leaving the theater untouched is not an option. 9/10
Casting Trivia: The three main actors are part of the same theater group. As this was a low to no-budget production, each of the three main actors was asked to bring in the actors for the characters around themselves. As a result, Nína Dögg Filippusdóttir (Karítas) cast her brother for the role of her son Gudmund. Lead actor Gísli Örn Garðarsson plays both the violent blond guy and his bearded brother with the beer belly.
Screenplay Trivia: Each actor developed their own dialog and story-line together with the director.
Production Trivia: The shooting of Children and Parents took place in the same time period. The editing for each film was done separately. Because of the tremendous amount of footage, editing took 6-7 months for each film.
Editing Trivia: A big story-line surrounding the gay shop owner (Marino's uncle) had to be left out of the final movie. The director thought it did not fit well enough together with the other story-lines. He almost had enough material to make another movie..
Acting Trivia: When actor Gísli Örn Garðarsson was in his role for the violent Garðar, they would shoot scenes in a bar. He was amazed and shocked to experience how girls would be attracted to these types.
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