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Mika Gustafson - Paradise is Burning

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Interview: Mika Gustafson – Paradise is Burning

Interview: Mika Gustafson – Paradise is Burning

Swedish filmmaker Mika Gustafson shifts from the docu world beginnings to her fiction feature debut in Paradise is Burning – a selection in the 2023 Venice Film Festival’s Orizzonti section. Winner of the Best Director award, Gustafson infuses her world of children (here three sisters) fending for themselves in their free-wielding carefree spirits with a template that dismantles cliched representations of what it might look like to defend a fort that is without a caring adult. As the character Hannah, portrayed by Ida Engvoll, makes her entrance, we embark on a journey of exploration into previously uncharted depths. Gustafson employs a visual poetry that mirrors a world characterized by compassion interwoven with turmoil. In my interview, I got to discuss the psychology of her characters, the relationships and rituals that they hold so dear, and learn about how the project was born.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at IONCINEMA.com (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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