Winter Brothers

2017, 94 mins
Denmark, Iceland

Language: Danish, English

Director: Hlynur Pálmason

A brother odyssey set in a rural chalk-mining community during a cold winter. We follow two brothers working in this harsh environment focusing on the younger brother Emil, who distills moonshine made from stolen chemicals from the factory. Emil is an outsider, an oddball, who made a conscious choice for loneliness and is only accepted by the mining community due to his older brother Johan. Emil longs for passion, for being wanted and loved. When a fellow worker becomes sick, the moonshine and Emil are prime suspects. Gradually a violent feud erupts between him and the tightly-knit mining community.  Emil feels betrayed by his brother when he finds out that the neighbor girl Anna, the subject of his unfulfilled desires, chooses his older brother instead of him. Revenge, loneliness, and lack of love pervade this modern brother odyssey.



“Winter Brothers is one of the more aesthetically idiosyncratic directorial debuts in recent memory.”

—Slant Magazine

“Impressively original, auspiciously idiosyncratic debut. –  Jessica Kiang, Variety

” Pálmason seemingly reproduces in his work a process of electing a new place and making it his own, after stripping it from too recognizable attributes. And indeed, an acute sense of space and texture (ice, chalk, wood) helps involve us in the ritualistic life that so maddens Emil.” – Aurélie Godet , Cinema Scope

“”(Winter Brothers) already confirmed Pálmason and company as names to watch.”

 – Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter

“It is a delicate, edgy work of art with a strong heart, which is just what an emerging filmmaker needs.”

– Vassilis Economou, Cineuropa

“Elements of craft and performance are very persuasive.”

– Allan Hunter, Screendaily