Hurry Slowly | Anders Emblem | Photos courtesy of Big Time PR

Slamdance Film Review: Skynd Deg Sakte (Hurry Slowly)

Film Reviews

Skynd Deg Sakte (Hurry Slowly)
Slamdance Film Festival

Director and Writer: Anders Emblem

In a single summer along Norway’s northwest coast, the picture-postcard Skynd Deg Sakte (Hurry Slowly) unravels. Hurry Slowly follows Fiona (Amalie Ibsen Jensen), a dependable young woman who lives alone with her younger brother, Tom (David Jakobsen), in their grandparents’ house on a small Norwegian island. Tom is autistic, and Fiona spends most of her time with him. She prepares him snacks and helps him get dressed while talking him through their day. The two do laundry together or listen attentively before bed to his Pale Blue Dot cassette tape (Tom loves space). The rest of Fiona’s days is split between her job at the local ferry and her love for music, listening to Donovan albums through headphones or recording herself singing sweetly to her guitar (Hurry Slowly’s songs are written by Eirik Slinning Korsnes).

Fiona moves productively and gracefully through her days’ many and repetitive small tasks. The camera gently trains on these moments of seeming inaction, of the compelling mundane, savoring the slice-of-life genre. We watch for long stretches as Fiona pedals her bicycle along the grasses and trees, with faded mountain ranges behind. In one especially tender scene, Fiona and Tom share a bowl of popcorn against the backdrop of their home’s soft-pink wallpaper. (Ann Sofie Godø provided the production design.) Tom takes popcorn by the double-handfuls, dropping pieces as he chomps. Fiona picks up and eats the dropped individual pieces, shooting Tom pointed looks. As Fiona scribbles in her journal, Tom flips through a book and watches an old video of a rocket launch.

The rocket lifts off into the atmosphere. Fiona and Tom continue to sit at the table. The camera fixates just as much on these tiny spells of movement—and there’s always movement, however small or seemingly inconsequential. The sea waves lap, the record spins, and Tom runs literal circles around Fiona as she walks. That is, this muted summer remains a conclusive, momentous one: After the death of their grandparents, Fiona became Tom’s primary guardian and caretaker. But a few years have passed since then, and Tom is soon turning 18. Fiona now faces the decision to move Tom from part- to full-time residency at the local care home.

Writer and director Anders Emblem brings a steady pace and astute eye to this story, and his narrative is a thoughtful and compassionate one, accompanied by wonderful performances from Jensen and Jakobsen. Meanwhile, the film feels perfectly edited—and Jeremy Stewart’s cinematography is downright stunning, each photographic frame precise and arresting, no matter how placid or still.

Hurry slowly. Hurry, slowly. A perfect title. Skynd Deg Sakte is a gorgeous, affecting tribute to the things we sometimes overlook or undermine: the repetitions and rituals and responsibilities; the spaces in between, the silences, the spending of time together; the little things, the work that goes into taking care, how we give to show our love. It’s easy to forget that that’s growth and movement, too. Skynd Deg Sakte is a carefully crafted and welcome reminder. –Kathy Rong Zhou

Skynd Deg Sakte (Hurry Slowly) is featured at the 2019 Slamdance Film Festival. For showtimes and more information about the film, visit


Jan. 28 // 1:15 PM // Ballroom
Preceded by narrative short Mothering, directed by Lucy Bridger.