Written and Directed by
Alexander P. Gutterman & Aboubacar M. Camara
Narrative Feature Film • 1 hr 37 min • Drama
Unrated (Sexual Content)
Completed Mar 2017
Annika is a young woman, abandoned by parents, left to deal with her aging and senile grandfather, while also confronted by poverty, isolation and sexual oppression. When Mark, a wealthy, married stranger on his way to a sailing competition visits her bleak lakeside town during the dead of winter, a quiet but intense entanglement develops. Opened and transformed as a result of the affair, Annika faces possibilities normally unavailable to people of her class, while Mark gradually falls into a forlorn, cold solitude.
In Winter is an independent feature emerging from the classical European tradition but presented in a timeless North American context and idiom, shot in northern MN USA.
We join Annika, a stoic and solitary young woman in difficult circumstances, caring for her aging and declining Grandfather, in the barren human landscape of a small working class northern town in mid-winter.
Her limited world is unsettled by the arrival of Mark, an older, wealthy stranger from out of town, with whom she becomes entangled in a sexual affair.
Invited to an upscale cocktail party with Mark, Annika encounters Andrew and Kate, jaded upper class party hosts, and a noisy group of guests. She is put on the spot by Kate, who is herself suffering from a similar oppressive circumstance, though in more opulent surroundings.
Faced with growing discomfort and insight into her reality and situation, Annika sneaks out, only to be drawn into a sordid encounter with a fellow loner at a local bar, from which she narrowly escapes back to the relative safety of Mark's hotel room.
The next morning, as townsfolk gather for a bleak sermon on the Book of Job, prepared by chaste but sensually driven Father Jim, Annika and Mark lose themselves in lovemaking. A church hymn unfolds while the camera covers the faces of townsfolk, worn by daily cares, and the intertwined bodies of the two lovers.
Finally, a panorama of ice, industrial buildings, and the empty sky lead to a poignant but ambiguous conversation between the lovers.