Hot Docs 2022: Our Review of ‘Skal’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Hot Docs 2022, Movies by - April 28, 2022
Hot Docs 2022: Our Review of ‘Skal’

This review for Skal is probably coming out the day it’s premiering on Hot Docs. But I watched this during Good Friday. This is perfect viewing for that day because of its Christian element. It is, after all, depicting a few generations of people who live in the Faroe Islands. Faroe is archipelago with Norse people living under the Danish crown. During one scene, it shows the sky above the archipelago. There’s a voice over of a man discussing God and evil. After that scene, it shows the mountains, with the voice over of that man’s granddaughter’s boyfriend. He talks about a bar where he raps about spirituality and sexuality.

Skal uses landscapes and voice overs a lot, but it uses those elements well. It shows the archipelago as a battleground where atheism and secularism proves itself as philosophies. Ones equally valid as the Christianity that’s been dominant in the islands for centuries. It eventually shows the two young people central to the documentary. The first is Dania, an aspiring writer and a questioning Christian, and her boyfriend Trygvi, a secular rapper. The documentary has its share of scenes where they have debates when they walk on eggshells on each other. But for the most part they’re a young cuddly couple.

There are also other scenes when Dania and Tryhvi do their own thing, both working on their art. Apart from writing, Dania is also a lead vocalist for a Christian rock group. But she also records her own material where she sings about her contradictions. Her lyrics, during the beginning, seem juvenile. But there’s something both light ang heartwarming about the way Skal shows a young person’s journey through self-expression. Again, documentaries about young people can go either way, but the sincerity here makes for great viewing.

Watch Skal as part of Hot Docs.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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