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The young Norwegian director's first feature, Den siste våren (Sister, What Grows Where Land Is Sick?) is a powerful film, capable of capturing the viewer from its opening scenes. Through the point of view of her younger sister, the director tells the complex relationship between the two sisters protagonists of the film. The pages of the major's diary, Vera, serve not only as a narrative device, to enter even deeper into the psyche of the characters, but also to offer continuous insights to the viewer, who finds himself somehow projected into the narrative.
The viewer is led down the same path as Eira: initially both do not fully understand her older sister and only at the end, through a process almost of catharsis, aided by the diary and the visions it produces, they eventually come to understand it completely. This journey, which unfolds throughout the film, forms the film's backbone.
However, the film is not limited only to investigating the relationship between the two sisters but attempts, successfully, to make the viewer reflect on other themes, feminism and ecology above all. The human-earth relationship is also of fundamental importance within Den siste våren. The film, in fact, through Vera’s reflections, invites viewers to rediscover a more direct and profound bond with nature and to abandon the distractions and illusions of contemporary society.
The film is built on a skillful alternation between dialogues, in which the relationship between the two sisters is narrated, and sequences where images completely replace words. This succession gives the film quiet rhythms that allow the viewer both to enter emotionally into the story and to be able to reflect on what is already narrated while viewing the film itself.
In the dream sequences, the image plays the main role and becomes, through intense scenes and strong visual impact, a means to convey emotions and thoughts. This is another uniqueness of the film. Indeed, thanks to perfect photography and set design, each sequence can constitute a scene in its own right, capable of moving the spectator even without necessarily being placed within a narrative context. Den siste våren is therefore made up of a perfect succession of small ‘paintings’ that together offer the viewer a very powerful and profound film.
Franciska Eliassen directed the short film Sister in 2018, presented at the Tromsø Film Festival, in which she explored, as in this film, the relationship between two sisters.