Kød & blod
starring Sidse Babett Knudsen, Sandra Guldberg Kampp, Elliott Crosset Hove, Besir Zeciri
written by Ingeborg Topsøe
directed by Jeanette Nordahl
by Walter Chaw Opening like a film from the New French Extremity, what with its phantom images of a deadly car accident set as a framing event for everything to follow, Danish director Jeanette Nordahl's Wildland (originally Kød & blod, or "flesh and blood") resolves as a domestic implosion in the vein of David Michôd's Animal Kingdom. The accident has claimed the mother of pretty, taciturn 17-year-old Ida (Sandra Guldberg Kampp), leaving her at the mercy of social services, who deem in their wisdom to place Ida with her Aunt Bodil (Sidse Babett Knudsen). Bodil has three grown sons who, at her direction, are involved in a criminal enterprise of sorts, and Wildland's MacGuffin is the collection of a debt from a recalcitrant client. What the game is is never terribly clear, but it's obvious that this is not an ideal environment for Ida following her recent trauma. Neither is it clear whether Ida was complicit in the fatal accident, though her dreams and fantasies--and the claustrophobic way Nordahl shoots her film in general (and Ida in particular) in long, unbroken closeups--certainly suggest Ida feels guilty about something. I don't mention these opacities as a detriment: far from it. Nordahl's picture isn't interested in the sundry details of its MacGuffins because they are MacGuffins.