fbpx The Ex-Wife | Gene Siskel Film Center
22nd Annual Chicago European Union Film Festival

The Ex-Wife


2017, Katja Wik, Sweden, 89 min.
Maria Sundbom, Nina Zanjani, Ellen Olaison

Show Times

  • Fri, Mar 22nd 8:15pm
  • Sat, Mar 23rd 2:00pm

"A touching, perceptive, often amusing depiction of the emotionally and socially straitjacketing repercussions of tethering your life to another."--David Pountain, Film Doo

This intriguing first feature interweaves three storylines--in order of appearance, The Ex-Wife, The Wife, and The Girlfriend. Ex-wife Vera struggles to raise two children on a meager income. Wife and new mother Anna suffers her husband's flirtations. Girlfriend Karla is at the stage where she and her boyfriend can still patch things up. The three strands come to a head in parallel party scenes that expose the fault lines in each relationship. Former casting director Wik, whose drolly observant style evokes Roy Andersson and Ruben Östlund, makes effective use of long takes to reveal character through behavioral details rather than plot contrivances. The film's structure suggests that the three woman can be seen as three different stages of a single meta-relationship, and the introduction of the three stories in reverse chronological order suggests an IRREVERSIBLE-like configuration of a bleak future overshadowing a more hopeful beginning. In Swedish with English subtitles. DCP digital. Courtesy of the Swedish Film Institute. (MR)

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