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Interview: Jens Assur - Ravens

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Audio Interview: Jens Assur – Ravens

Audio Interview: Jens Assur – Ravens

Moving from photo journalism to the short form with sobering portraits in The Last Dog in Rwanda (2006) and one of the best shorts films this decade in Killing the Chickens to Scare the Monkeys (2011), Swedish helmer Jens Assur paints an alluringly stubborn miserablist portrait with his debut feature, Ravens.

Shackled to a way of life handed down from generations past, tending to the land, the animals and wrath of every single weather forecast imaginable, the antagonistic forces display the hardships of a family of three blistered souls best personified by the guilt-ridden character played by Reine Brynolfsson, and burden carrying wife (Maria Heiskanen) and young son (Jacob Nordström). Still being presented on the film festival circuit, I had the chance to speak with Assur at the 2017 Toronto Intl. Film Festival and discussed the choice in title, the use of the long take, and working with Brynolfsson.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury 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 was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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