»Once«, the melancholic love story of a street singer and an Eastern European immigrant in Ireland was one of the biggest indie hits of the 2000’s. This low-budget film portrayed love in a way that felt both modern and real.

As it turns out, the story behind »Once« makes a great film too. The actors of »Once«, Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, went on to win an Oscar for Best Original Song (»Falling Slowly«). They started touring large venues and fell in love. »The Swell Season« charts its sympathetic protagonists’ road to fame and blissful coupling, but does not end there: eventually the romance fades away, as it is prone to do.

In a world saturated with happy endings and romantic fluff, an exploration of a break-up feels refreshing and poignant. Shot beautifully in black and white, this intimate documentary has an uplifting clarity and is a must-see not only for fans of the couple, but for anyone interested in seeing an honest story of post-romance-vulnerability.

The Swell Season poster
The Swell Season
Nick August-Perna, Chris Dapkins, Carlo Mirabella-
USA/ Czech Republic/ Ireland
91 min
Premiere status
Swedish Premiere
Production year
Glen Hansard, Markéta Irglová
Carlo Mirabella-Davis

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See all films from the 2011 festival