Official Selection - Out of Competition

Paradise is Burning (Paradiset brinner)

Mika Gustafson
Female Director 2023 108 min Sweden, Italy, Denmark, Finland
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That summer feeling.

In a working-class region of Sweden, sisters Laura (16), Mira (12), and Steffi (7) fend for themselves, because of their absent mother. With summer approaching, life is wild and carefree, lively and anarchic. But when social services call a meeting, Laura has to find someone to imitate their mother or the girls will be separated and taken into foster care. Laura keeps the threat a secret, so as not to worry her younger sisters.

Mika Gustafson’s first film is all about the immediate sensations of its characters, and she shows remarkable finesse in both her writing and her vision. In constant motion, the young girls she follows express the exhilaration of youth as well as the major upheavals of adult life.


Accessible from 16 and over


  • Bianca Del Bravo
  • Dilvin Asaad
  • Safira Mossberg


  • Mika Gustafson
  • Alexander Öhrstrand


  • Sine Vadstrup Brooker


  • Gustaf Berger


  • Giorgio Giampà


  • Hobab


Saturday 02 March 2024 14:00
Lieux : Ciné Utopia
Audio : Swedish
Subtitles : English
Screening : Public Screening
Friday 08 March 2024 14:00
Lieux : Cinémathèque
Audio : Swedish
Subtitles : English
Screening : Public Screening


“Paradise is Burning is a celebration of childhood spirit. Or, more specifically, girlhood.”
Georgia May high on films 20/10/2023

Mika Gustafson

Mika Gustafson
Mika Gustafson

Born in Sweden in 1988, Mika Gustafson graduated from the Valand Film Academy in 2016. That same year, she was awarded the Nordic Talents Prize in Copenhagen. Her graduation film Mephobia went on to win several awards, as did her documentary Silvana, which won the National Awards for Best Documentary in 2017. She subsequently held her own exhibition at the Centre d’Art Contemporain in Geneva. Paradise is Burning is her first feature film.


  • Paradiset brinner 2023
  • Silvana - Väck mig när ni vaknat 2017
  • Mephobia (short film) 2017
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