First show: February 15
“Like a crafty predator, this Danish knock-out lays patiently in wait as long as it needs to — before stunning its prey, the spectator… It’s an exceptional feature debut.” – Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter
“Never feels like an empty provocation. (An) astonishing first feature.” – Indiewire
Skype Q&A with director Isabella Eklöf
after the Fri., Feb 15 show!
“Pretty blonde Sascha (Victoria Carmen Sonne) is the epitome of mainstream attractiveness, and is invited to join her Danish criminal boyfriend Michael (Lai Yde) on a no-expense-spared summer holiday on Turkey’s idyllic Turquoise Coast. The young woman’s presence requires her to take on the role of a human trinket, a girl-shaped bauble whose inclusion in the titular getaway with Michael and his colleagues comes with unspoken expectations and demands. And she knows it.
The feature film debut of Swedish director and writer Isabella Eklöf, HOLIDAY is marked by a fashion magazine gloss with its aesthetic of hyper-commodified femininity. The look of the film feeds shrewdly into a fearless critique of what happens to a young woman who has been objectified to the point where she can only understand her own identity through the very terms of her objectification. At the heart of the film lies an undeniably brutal rape scene that makes explicit the until-then ambient, rumbling suggestion of violence and threat that surrounds Sascha: as a young woman in this man’s world, violence is not just a possibility, but a day-to-day reality.
The neon-colored bikinis, nightclubs, fancy drinks, and crystal-clear swimming pools lie in sharp contrast to the dark revelations of Sascha’s journey, sparked into action when she meets free-spirited Dutchman Thomas (Thijs Römer). In the hands of a less capable, thoughtful, and original director, this scenario could easily collapse into the terrain of the cliched love triangle trope, but Eklöf knows the world is never so simple or clear-cut for women in situations like Sascha’s. Rather, violence becomes viral — a way of maintaining the status quo, even if that comes at the loss of agency and the acceptance of an identity that transcends two-dimensional commodified womanhood.
Like so much in Eklöf’s film, the title is both an invitation and a provocation: HOLIDAY is no escape, but rather an unflinching, urgent, and desperately important statement about the world so many young women find themselves in.” – Fantastic Fest.
Directed by Isabella Eklöf. Written by Isabella Eklöf & Johanne Algren. With Victoria Carmen Sonne, Lai Yde & Thijs Römer Denmark/Netherlands/Sweden. In English, Danish & Swedish with English subtitles. 2018. DCP. 93 mins.
The Roxie Theater would like to provide a brief content warning for Isabella Eklöf’s HOLIDAY. While we don’t condone the depiction of violence against women (or anyone really) as a form of entertainment, we recognize that these narratives do shape the lives of many people. Despite HOLIDAY’s message being an important one, its graphic material may not be a good fit for all viewers. Please see the Viewer’s Guide for further details.
Read the interview with director Isabella Eklöf.
NOTE FILMS START RIGHT AT THE LISTED SHOWTIME. Roxie Theater trailers play during the 30 minutes prior to showtime.
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