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Two young women and a girl lay in the middle of a grassy field laughing and smiling with each other.

Paradise Is Burning
(Paradiset Brinner)

  •   Mika Gustafson
  •   Sweden, Italy, Denmark, Finland

In a working-class Swedish neighborhood, 16-year-old Laura cares for her two younger sisters, left on their own by an absent mother. For the trio and their friends, summer is wild, indulgent, and anarchic, full of ritual and mischief. But when social services schedules a meeting with their mother — who is nowhere to be found — Laura must find someone to step in or the girls risk being separated in foster care. Keeping the impending threat a secret from her sisters creates a palpable tension and conflict, sending each of them on an individual journey of discovery and connection. As the meeting with social services draws nearer, the boundaries of the girls’ radical freedom are tested by the harsh realities of growing up.

Echoing the chaotic freedom of films like The Florida Project, Mika Gustafson’s striking fiction debut is as bold as it is tender, a refreshingly forthright coming-of-age story and an intimate portrait of sisterhood.

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International Competition Program Sponsor

John and Jacolyn Bucksbaum Family Foundation

Event Information

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

  •   108 minutes
1500 N Clybourn Ave
Chicago, IL 60610 United States



Cinema/Chicago is committed to fostering an inclusive and accessible environment at all our programs and events. All event venues are fully wheelchair accessible, with no-step entrances or ramp access and elevators. All venues offer wheelchair-designated spaces, companion seating, easy-access theater seating, and accessible restrooms. For accommodation requests, please email us at access@chicagofilmfestival.com, call us at 312-683-0121, x108, or complete our Accommodation Request Form.

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