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  • THE WAR GAME (1963)

Three shorts by Mai Zetterling

Saturday, May 14

Monday, May 16

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Full program approx. 57 min.

U.K., 1963
16mm print courtesy Swedish Film Institute. Approx. 15 min. 

An antimilitarist fable, featuring two young boys fighting for possession of a toy gun. Zetterling’s first narrative film, made with her then-husband English novelist David Hughes with cinematography by Brian Probyn (Badlands). Selected as best short film of the year at the 1963 Venice Film Festival. “THE WAR GAME demonstrated Zetterling’s sense of sound and visuals, her direction of actors— typically, she was lauded for her direction of child actors in the reception of her feature films in the 1960s—and her skill in constructing a moving image narrative without dialogue.” – Mariah Larsson, A Cinema of Obsession: The Life and Work of Mai Zetterling

Sweden, 1979
16mm print courtesy Swedish Film Institute. Approx. 29 min.

After a planned project documenting British explorer Wally Herbert’s circumnavigation of Greenland fell through, Zetterling approached the Royal Greenland Trade Department to fund a bare-bones 30-minute pro-seal hunting documentary. “On one hand, it aligns itself neatly within a tradition of using documentary films as colonial propaganda in its production context and funding. On the other hand, it seems to more or less subtly undermine its own messages: less subtly in the case of the seal hunt, more subtly—practically unnoticeable unless you read the production notes—in how the order of events is reversed: the party that ends the film seems to be a celebration of the successful seal hunt.43 However, these festivities mark the beginning of Home Rule on May 1, 1979, when Greenland received partial independence from Denmark.” – Mariah Larsson, A Cinema of Obsession: The Life and Work of Mai Zetterling

“The Strongest” segment from VISIONS OF EIGHT
U.S., 1973
Digital. Approx. 13 min.

Not much interested in sport, Zetterling found herself fascinated by the “isolation and obsession” of Olympic weightlifters, bringing humor and compassion to her contribution to VISIONS OF EIGHT.

Film Forum