Jätten (The Giant). 2016. Sweden/Denmark. Directed by Johannes Nyholm. 86 min.
Rikard lives to play petanque (a kind of lawn-bowling played with hollow steel balls). But his severe physical deformity, coupled with autism, makes communication with the world beyond a very small group of family, friends, and petanque teammates nearly impossible. As Rikard’s team gears up for a prestigious tournament, his fantasies—some involving his mother, who lives in squalor with her pet parrot, and some imagining himself as a giant stomping across a kitschy, romanticist landscape—transport him beyond the confines of the long-term care facility where he lives. Nyholm’s debut feature is a true original: a provocative, grittily realist sports movie, suffused with compassion and humor.