Karitas is a single mother of four who desperately tries to make ends meet. Fighting a loosing battle with her ex-husband for custody over her three daughters, she's oblivious to what's going on with her twelve-year-old son Gudmund, a victim of brutal bullying at school and who's life is on the fast track to destruction.

Gudmund's only friend in the world is Marinó, a schizophrenic in his fourties, who lives with his mother in the same apartment building. When Marinó realizes that his mother has secretly been dating a stranger, Marinó starts to loose grip on reality.

Gardar is an underworld enforcer who makes a mess at work and as a result his twin brother Georg is beaten up. Exiled both from the underworld and his family, Gardar has to make a fresh start in life. He decides to seek out his son Gudmund whom he has never seen but the straight and narrow is a tough path to follow.

Director's Statement

When you write fiction you are limited by your imagination and you often create likeable characters that are acceptable to the audience. The danger is that you distance your self from real life and create characters that are one-dimensional.

With the films CHILDREN and PARENTS I started from a theme. I felt what sort of things I wanted to explore in an instinctive way and I wanted to make films in close co-operation with the actors, working profoundly on character to achieve authenticity in the acting.

Inspired by the working methods of Leigh, Godard and Casavettes, I got the theatre group Vesturport to collaborate with me. The actors were given the assignment of presenting a character they know from their own lives or loosely based on real people. They were to undergo practical training and explore particular aspects of their characters, such as getting to know their characters' jobs.

The following months we spent on improvisation and research to build up the characters and develop the plot. During this I decided how the characters were to be linked then retired to write the outline, which was primarily to distill the improvisations to their essence, give them structure and develop the story. And then shooting began, with no written dialogue, but each actor with an extensive sense of his character. The thing was to be, not to act.

CHILDREN and PARENTS are films made with passion felt by all who took part. First and foremost we wanted to tell the stories that matter to us, and hopefully would affect our future audience.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Ragnar Bragason

Written by: Ragnar Bragason

Cinematography: Bergsteinn Björgúlfsson

Editing: Sverrir Kristjánsson

Cast: Gisli Örn Gardarsson, Nina Dogg Filippusdottir, Olafur Darri Ölafsson

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2007