Synopsis by Mark Deming
A family crisis forces a woman to examine parts of her life she'd prefer to forget in this drama from Sweden. Leena (Noomi Rapace) awakes on the morning of the Feast of St. Lucy to grim news -- her mother Aili (Outi Maenpaa) has been hospitalized and her condition is grave. While Leena tries to ignore the bad news, her husband Johan (Ola Rapace) insists that they visit Aili while they still can, and as the couple and their children make the journey South, Leena wrestles with the ugly memories of her childhood. Leena's parents were Finnish immigrants who never escaped the feeling they were outsiders in their new land, and her father treated his anxieties with alcohol. While Leena tried to escape the horrors of life at home by devoting herself to swimming and escaping to the house of a friend, Aili was forced to bear the brunt of his drunken violence, and decades later both still carry emotional scars. Svinalangorna (aka Beyond) marked the directorial debut of Pernilla August, one of Sweden's most respected actresses.
abuse, childhood, trauma