Switzerland, Finland, 23 min
The winter sun shines palely down upon a small village as five-year old Ida sets out for school. However, her daily life is not quite as unremarkable as it seems at first: Ida is one of just eight inhabitants of the island of Kyrkogådsö, located in the middle of the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Finland. The island’s three children travel by snowmobile, a small boat and finally by car to reach their school on a neighbouring island.
Joakim Chardonnens follows little Ida through her day in quiet images whose deliberately slow pace seems to be an effect of the all-encompassing cold. The northern landscape embeds the red-jacketed girl in a world that seems much too large and vast for her – in contrast to the camera’s close and careful observation of the inquisitive girl within her own world.
Almost without words and amid a panoply of background noises ranging from motors to a scratchy violin, Kyrkogårdsö succeeds in offering a sensitive image of the way children pave their own way through their surroundings.
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