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BLOODY ANGELS

Norway, 1998 (MIFF 2000, International Panorama)

Director: Karin Julsrud

An unpredictable thriller about a tight-knit rural community, a terrible crime and an untenable outcome. Bloody Angels is a vigilante justice film set in a frigid, bleak Norwegian burg. Two 'bad seeds', brothers and trouble makers, are prime suspects in the horrific rape and murder of a young Down's syndrome girl. The principle 'evidence' against the suspects is that they don't attend church and live on social security. When one of them winds up floating in an icy river, the local police chief enlists the help of an old pal from Oslo. Investigator Nicholas Ramm is a jaded homicide detective with a comically bad attitude. He is contemptuous of the bumpkins and their provincial ways and annoys the townsfolk from day one. Proceedings go from bad to worse when he befriends one son from the family under suspicion and places another under police protection. Director Karm Julsrud crafts a complex, multilayered take on the question of when, if ever, it is appropriate to take the law into your own hands. Her unusual cinematic sense is haunting and coldly beautiful, a technique echoing the snowy setting. Hot tempers, chilling action.

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