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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     108 minutes


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.

 Swedish with subtitles

Screenings & Events


Film Credits

  •   Nima Yousefi, Marco Valerio Fusco, Micaela Fusco, Maria Stevnbak Westergren, Venla Hellstedt, Jenni Jauri
  •   Mika Gustafson, Alex Öhrstrand
  •   Anders Skov
  •   Sine Vadstrup Brooker
  •   Bianca Delbravo, Dilvin Asaad, Safira Mossberg, Ida Engvoll, Mitja Siren
  •   Giorgio Giampà
  •   Hobab, Intramovies, Toolbox Films, Tuffi Films
  •   https://www.intramovies.com/production/paradise-is-burning/


International Competition Program Sponsor

John and Jacolyn Bucksbaum Family Foundation