Nordicana 2015 – Jordskott, Episode 1 – Review ***

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Jordskott, a 10 part series created by Henrik Björn and produced by Palladium Fiction premiered on SVT last February and gained nation-wide success. We were lucky enough to watch episode one at last weekend’s Nordicana festival.

Meet police investigator Eva Thörnblad (Moa Gammel); our first introduction is during a rather nerve-racking scene in which Eva is trying to dissuade a man from killing his own wife and daughter. But something goes wrong and Eva is shot; as she is about to lose her senses, we see another girl calling for her mommy. Later, we learn that Eva’s daughter, Josefine, went missing by the Silverhöjd lake seven years ago in rather mysterious circumstances. When another child goes missing in the same area, Eva travels there hoping to find a connection with her daughter’s disappearance. Silverhöjd bears painful memories, not only because that’s were Josefine disappeared, but also because that is were Eva’s father lived until his recent death. We are given hints that the strained relationship between the two was caused by something he did, but the mystery remains. Things get suddenly even more sinister when a young girl is discovered in the forest – a girl that Eva claims to be her own daughter. Meanwhile, detective Tom Aronsson (Richard Forsgren) investigates in both the child missing case and the reappearance of this mysterious girl. Is she really Josefine? If she is then something has changed in her. There are darker and inexplicable forces at play in this ancient forest, ‘here be dragons’ indeed…

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If you were thinking Nordic thriller, think again. Jordskott is not what it first appears to be. For half the time we did not know what was really going on, apart from a rather ominous and eerie feeling running throughout. What we first thought would be a child missing drama completely changed perspective when the girl in the forest is found. The series makes a clever use of the natural setting – the lush Swedish forests feels very much alive. There is a sense of damp and moist, and we can almost imagine ourselves smelling that distinctive woodland scent you get when walking in such recondite places. Eva, with her flowery satin jacket, almost reminds us of  Ryan Gosling in Drive and Gammel excellently portrays the complexities of a character who is both a grieving mother and policewoman determined to finding the truth, and getting her revenge – in a conversation she dreams of having with her daughter Eva promises she will kill whoever took Josefine. The first part of the episode progresses through some ups and downs, occasionally with dialogues (or, better, subtitles) which are filled with slightly too much exposition. But, bear with it because the ending will certainly surprise you and make you want to see more of this arcane world…

The first episode of Jordskott will be broadcasted on ITV Encore HD on Wed 10th Jun, 10pm.

Elisa was born in the small town of Udine, Italy, where she made her first short films. Aged 18 she moved to London where she achieved a degree in Film & Broadcast Production with her film "A Tragedy", based on William Shakespeare's "Macbeth". She recently pursued a Master degree in Screenwriting for TV and Film thus joining the group of struggling writers. Ssst! She's brainstorming.