The Ice Palace

  • 1987
  • 1 HR 32 MIN
  • NR
  • Drama

After the death of her unmarried mother, Unn moves to a small town to live with her aunt and becomes friends with Siss. Unn makes some tentative sexual advances to Siss, then begins crying, begging Siss to keep her "secret." The next day on her way to school, Unn stops at a frozen waterfall that has become an "ice palace," but as she wanders through room...read more

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After the death of her unmarried mother, Unn moves to a small town to live with her aunt and becomes friends with Siss. Unn makes some tentative sexual advances to Siss, then begins crying, begging Siss to keep her "secret." The next day on her way to school, Unn stops at a frozen

waterfall that has become an "ice palace," but as she wanders through room after room of glistening beauty, she loses her way, and the ice begins to melt. After trudging bravely through the icy water, she finally succumbs to exhaustion and the cold, collapsing in a heap and calling out for Siss

with her dying breath. When Unn doesn't show up at school, a search party looks for her, but does not find her body, and Siss becomes slowly more withdrawn as she tries to deal with her feelings for her now dead friend. Unmistakably Scandinavian in tenor, unremittingly somber in tone, THE ICE

PALACE makes "The Little Match Girl" look like Pippi Longstocking. It is difficult to imagine a more evocative symbol of alienation and isolation than the beautiful ice cavern that intrigues and finally imprisons Unn. Despite the earnest performances by its young leads and the thematic consistency

of its ice palace visuals, however, the deeper insights one craves from Blom's film either don't exist or are buried beneath its often-impenetrable surface. (In Norwegian; English subtitles.)

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